Enval has created a way to recycle previously un-recyclable materials in a process based on microwave-induced pyrolysis.

The business successfully raised £985,950 through SyndicateRoom in 2015 with the intention of ramping up its commercial scale plant to full capacity.

The story

Enval’s story began at the University of Cambridge when a bacon roll was microwaved for so long that it turned into a glowing mass of carbon. This sparked further experiments, resulting in the eventual formation of Enval: a solution that extracts 100% of usable aluminium (as well as fuel and other valuable materials) from previously un-recyclable laminate packaging, 160,000 tonnes of which enters the UK marketplace each year and inevitably ends up in landfill.

This process is based on microwave-induced pyrolysis, which heats waste laminates (such as toothpaste tubes, pet food pouches, drinks pouches etc) in the absence of oxygen to extract valuable materials without emitting greenhouse gases or toxic emissions.

Enval is part of a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) research programme to introduce plastic aluminium laminates into existing household recycling schemes. In 2010 Enval constructed its pilot plant. The first commercial demonstration plant was built following investment and support from major multinational FMCG brands, including Nestlé, Kraft Foods and Mondel ēz International.

Where are they now?

In 2017 Enval was named winner of the Green Award at the SME National Business Awards; you can watch the video of the presentation here. The award celebrates businesses that are ‘reducing or removing the harmful impact that products and/or services have on the environment.’

In June 2018 Enval was shortlisted for the UK Business Angels Association Awards in the category of Best Investment in Disruptive Tech.

You can find more updates on Enval’s press page.

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