Luxembourg-based materials firm Ravago has purchased an equity stake in advanced recycling technology firm Alterra.

Ravago’s roots in mechanical recycling date to 1961, but the stake in Alterra builds on that, CEO Theo Roussis said in a news release.

As a strategic partner to Alterra, Ravago will supply pre-processed — shredded, dried and densified — waste plastic to Alterra’s Akron, Ohio, facility, where it will be processed into pyrolysis oil. A useable, renewable feedstock for the petrochemical industry, pyrolysis oil is becoming an increasingly interesting product for refiners.

The Alterra reactor at Akron has a nameplate capacity of 60 tons per day and is based on a liquefaction technology that, unlike many of its competitors, is a continuous, rather than a batch or semi-batch process.

Alterra received ISCC Plus certification for its products in March 2021. Alterra will market this material for further refining and conversion into circular building blocks for the plastics and chemicals producing industry.

The Ravago transaction is the second strategic partnership this year for Alterra. In January, Alterra announced that Neste, the world’s leading provider of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, and an expert in delivering drop-in renewable and circular chemical solutions, had acquired a minority stake in the company.

“Ravago’s equity investment supports Alterra’s continued efforts to accelerate the adoption of advanced recycling,” Alterra CEO Frederic Schmuck said.

This is not Ravago’s first foray into the alternative recycling world. In 2019, the company announced a collaboration, also with Neste, on the development of industrial-scale chemical recycling of mixed plastic waste. According to Roussis: “Chemical recycling should be part of a sustainable solution that our society requires today to address the growing need for valorising consumer waste.”

“Our ambition in the coming years is to do multiple recycling investments with our key partners to address the problem of plastic waste in a meaningful way.”

Ravago distributes, resells, compounds and recycles plastic raw materials at more than 325 locations across more than 55 countries worldwide. It employs a workforce of 8,000 at some 45 manufacturing facilities of which 19 are recycling and compounding plants in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa with a combined annual capacity of over 775,000 metric tons.