KEM ONE enters into partnership with Polyloop to develop PVC recycling


The startup Polyloop installs its experimental pilot unit in the Kem One laboratory in Balan. The two companies join forces to develop new solutions for PVC recycling.

Kem One is to host a pilot plant in its Balan laboratories for Polyloop, a start-up specialising in developing compact recycling units. The two companies concluded a partnership on 08 July, 2020, that will result in them combining their skills and expertise to develop new PVC recycling solutions. At the Balan site, the young company will be able to work alongside an experienced player in the PVC sector, in an eminently suitable environment for perfecting its procedure. It will be able to draw on Kem One’s analytical skills, expertise in the various different types of PVC and their applications, and knowledge of the markets.

“With Polyloop, we will be moving into UX-Design (User Experience Design) and the circular economy,” said Romain Ferrari, co-founder of the start-up. “Our disruptive innovation is based on over twenty years’ wide-ranging experience across the various different composites sectors - production, processing and recycling. Polyloop will be bringing a high-value-added experience to everyone involved in the circular economy. Kem One’s expertise, based on its applications laboratory, means that the partnership will help us meet the expectations of recycled plastics transformers as closely as possible.”

Romain Ferrari (left), co-founder of Polyloop, and Olivier Thomas, director of the Kem One establishment in Balan, in front of the pilot unit. 

L'unité pilote de Polyloop au sein du laboratoire de Kem One à Balan

At the Kem One laboratory, Polyloop will continue to work on its selective dissolution and precipitation process, intended to recycle PVC composite materials such as technical textiles (tarpaulins, coated canvases, etc.). It will perform tests on end-of-life materials and manufacturing scrap. Eventually, the aim is to design a small, decentralised, modular recycling plant that could be integrated into a factory. The PVC compounds (a mixture of PVC and additives) obtained from the process would then be reused on the same site by manufacturers and transformers.

Pooling resources and skills

“We and Polyloop have a common interest in developing PVC recycling systems,” said Olivier Thomas, manager of the Balan platform. “By sharing our resources, the micro-pilot and our skills, we are likely to find recycling solutions for our respective sectors more quickly.”

The partnership fully supports Kem One’s R&D strategy, “whose goal is to offer clients a range of recycled PVC in the coming years,” Patrick Morel, Kem One’s Innovations Manager explained.

Polyloop and Kem One are helping to structure a regional PVC recycling sector, drawing on the Rhône-Alpes region’s centres of excellence in chemicals and engineering skills, not to mention its substantial network of PVC manufacturers and transformers.

KEM ONE, support of the circular economy

More generally, Kem One supports initiatives related to the circular economy and plastics recycling. Since 2017, at its Saint-Fons site, it has been providing help and support to Deltalys, a company specialising in biogas filtration systems using bio-sourced materials. Also, since June 2020 it has hosted an industrial demonstrator developed by Carbios for enzymatic recycling of plastic waste into PET.