GreenMantra Technologies, a Branton, Ontario-based clean technology company that produces polymer products from scrap plastics, has announced it will receive $2.2 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). The funding will be used toward construction of a demonstration plant that will convert scrap polystyrene (PS) into modified styrenic polymers for use in inks, foam insulation and other applications.
The Honorable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced the funding during a ceremony at GreenMantra’s headquarters Aug. 8.
“We are thrilled that SDTC will provide a portion of the capital necessary for this important project,” says Kousay Said, GreenMantra president and CEO. “This pilot plant will enable us to scale up our patent-pending process for sustainably reusing of one of the world’s least recycled plastics.”
The announcement comes weeks after GreenMantra Technologies announced Closed Loop Fund will invest up to $3 million to also help with the expansion of the company’s manufacturing operations in Brantford. SDTC and Closed Loop joins existing GreenMantra investors ArcTern Ventures and Cycle Capital Management in supporting the continued growth of the company. Both firms specialize in investing in companies focused on clean technology and sustainability.
Minister Bains adds, “As part of our government’s investments in clean technology and commitment to protecting the planet, we are pleased to support this next generation of GreenMantra’s sustainable technology. Transforming plastic waste into commercially viable products will not only drive innovation in sustainable reuse of waste materials, it also creates middle-class jobs in Ontario’s growing clean technology sector.”
PS plastic in foam and solid form is commonly used in consumer products, food and product packaging and many other applications. It is one of the world’s fastest growing solid scraps, says GreenMantra, yet has one of the lowest recycling rates of all plastics with an estimated 95 percent either disposed of in landfills or incinerated.
Using a proprietary catalyst and conversion process, GreenMantra Technologies says it has converted scrap PS foam into useful polymers on a laboratory scale. The demonstration plant, to be constructed at GreenMantra’s existing manufacturing complex in Brantford, will have an anticipated initial annual capacity of 1,000 metric tons per year. This will provide an ample supply of converted modified styrenic polymers for trialing in end-use applications and potential initial commercial sales, according to the company.
The design and engineering of the new facility will begin this year, with construction starting in 2018.
GreenMantra converts scrap polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) plastics, such as film, bottle caps and food containers, into specialty synthetic waxes. These waxes are used in various applications in the coatings, plastics processing, adhesives roofing and paving industries.
SDTC in 2014 provided GreenMantra Technologies with a $2 million funding to help fund construction of the plant that produces these waxes.