Enabling a carbon circular economy
Innovative plasma sources for chemical recycling, CO2-splitting, and gas reforming
Where recycling still falls short
To stay on a pathway to net-zero carbon neutrality the emission of CO2 has to be reduced – however, not every industry can do without carbon. Carbon is the backbone of the chemical industry, and virtually every consumer product contains carbon that once originated from fossil resources. At the end of its life, a product becomes waste. Waste, that generates 3.2 million tons of CO2 in Germany by incineration and of which 700 thousand tons are exported annually.
However, the term ‘decarbonization’ is not used within the chemical industry, because carbon cannot be replaced in products like plastics – instead, the goal is ‘defossilization’: The renouncement from fossil carbon sources.
Plasma technology for a sustainable future
Cyclize helps to close this value chain into a circular carbon economy. Our plasma technology will allow the reforming of waste plastics into new intermediate chemicals, which ultimately are used to create new products. This approach has the potential to mitigate CO2 emissions as well as plastic waste pollution. Depending on the desired product, our process can even be carbon negative by using carbon dioxide as feedstock. Thereby, it helps companies reach emission goals and replaced fossil feedstock like natural gas or oil.
Enabling a circular economy for carbon
The name Cyclize originates from ‘to cyclize’. In chemistry, this refers to a reaction where a carbon chain gets closed into a ring. In the same way, Cyclize wants to transform the carbon value chain into a ring with a disruptive technology.
Electrifying the chemical industry
Today, fossil feedstock and fossil energy are at the core of chemical processes. Next to electro- and photochemistry, plasma chemistry is one main pillar of electrification of the chemical industry. As such, it has the potential to replace oil and natural gas as feedstock. The intermediate chemical that is produced in our plasma processes is syngas: A mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. A non-thermal plasma is used to gasify waste material. The generated gas is reformed in the plasma with steam or carbon dioxide. These processes are referred to as dry reforming and steam reforming. Both can efficiently generate syngas. Dry reforming yields carbon monoxide rich gas for phosgenation, while steam reforming yields hydrogen rich syngas that can be used as fuel or for methanol production. The syngas can be used as drop-in to replace natural gas or propane gas reforming. This benefits not only the environment, but also energetic self-reliance.
We are a young, passionate team of researchers and entrepreneurs from the University of Stuttgart who are pursuing an ambitious and important goal. Starting in 2018, our team has researched carbon utilization based on plasma technology. From the beginning, we developed and used our own equipment, which we now want to scale and commercialize. In May of 2022, the idea and team behind Cyclize received an EXIST-Forschungstransfer funding from the German government to transfer our technology towards industrial application.
“Big global problems need innovative solutions; Cyclize will contribute to protecting the climate through our versatile and sustainable technology”
Maike Lambarth, CEO Cyclize