Environmental company Recuro aims to tackle the plastic problem

Aalesund-based environmental technology company Recuro specializes in recycling plastic waste and converting it into high-quality oil using pyrolysis. The oil can be refined and replace fossil oil in the production of new plastic products. Recuro now intends to establish a recycling facility in Mongstad.

Aalesund-based environmental technology company Recuro specialises in recycling plastic waste and converting it into high-quality oil using pyrolysis. The oil can be refined and replace fossil oil in the production of new plastic products. Recuro now intends to establish a recycling facility on Mongstad.

Recuro develops pyrolysis technology, a form of chemical recycling, which enables recycling of plastic waste that cannot be mechanically recycled. This not only reduces the amount of plastic being incinerated, but also replaces fossil oil with pyrolysis oil in plastic production, and thus significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"The oil produced is of high quality and can be refined to be used as raw material in the petrochemical industry. Additionally, the technology handles various plastic qualities as feedstock, increasing the proportion of recycled material," says Arve Jakobsen, CEO of Recuro.

The company is now entering the market to raise capital for buildinga chemical recycling factory using induction technology. The first facility isexpected to be operational in Norway within a few years.

Energy efficient

Recuro utilizes induction-heated reactors for plastic pyrolysis. Unlike gas, which is the most common heating solution, induction heating provides precise heat supply. As a result, the recycling technology is more energy-efficient and has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the recycling process itself.  

"Inductionas a heat source gives us excellent control over the recycling process. Induction is also powered by electricity, resulting in low emissions where renewable energy is available," says Jakobsen. Induction heating also constitutes new business opportunities for Recuro. During pyrolysis, gas is also produced, and Recuro aims to utilize this resource.

"By using induction as a heat source, we no longer require the gas produced during pyrolysis. Instead of using the gas, it can displace fossil natural gas in the market. With a fullydeveloped facility, we estimate that pyrolysis gas can replace fossil gas and reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 100,000 tons annually. This is equivalent to the annual emissions from approximately 21,000 petrol or diesel-powered cars," explains Jakobsen.

New funding round

The company was initially established in 2022 under the name Effee Energy but rebranded to Recuro in January 2023. The company has already secured strong regional ownership, and the first round of funding in August 2022 was significantly oversubscribed. The upcoming funding round aims to realise the first building stage of the recycling facility, which is planned to be operational by 2025.

"The facility will have a capacity of 25tons of plastic per day once the first building stage is completed," says Jakobsen. Following that, Recuro plans to build facilities with a capacity of 400 tons of plastic per day.

Mongstad suitable location

The company has already identified Mongstad as a suitable location for its first facility. Recuro highlights the access to a dock, planned and established infrastructure, and pre-regulated areas as strengths of Mongstad as a location. The collaboration among stakeholders in the base through "Green Spot Mongstad" is also a contributing factor.

In January 2023, a new project was launched by Green Spot Mongstad—an energy tunnel designed to distributewaste heat throughout the industrial park. This enables the utilization of excess heat from other activities in the area while saving companies energy consumption and heating costs. Einar Vaage, the leader of Green Spot Mongstad, is highly positive to the idea of establishing a pyrolysis plant at Mongstad.

"We are focused on leveraging the synergies among the stakeholders in the industrial park to create new value. Several actors need to increase the degree of material recycling, and we see synergies with other actors as well, as pyrolysis oil is suitable for further refining. Therefore, we believe that a pyrolysis plant can create upstream and downstream industrial symbiosis and strengthen the entire industrial area of Mongstad," says Vaage.

Proof of concept

Recuro has spent the past year piloting the technology and testing different types of feedstock. In December 2022, they conducted a pilot test using induction-heated reactors in the pyrolysis process. The results bode well for their upcoming capital fundraising efforts.

"We have consistently testet the technology. This way, we reduce risk for the company and our investors. This test was crucial and it demonstrates the functionality of the induction technology," says Jakobsen. Moving forward, the company will test various types of plastic as feedstock and explore future construction phases.

"We will build the facility in multiple stages, gradually expanding the capacity from 25 tons of plastic per day. This approach reduces risk and enables us to test the processes and procedures along the way," explains Jakobsen.

140,000 Tons of plastic

Recuro's ambition is to establish plants with a capacity of 400 tons of plastic per day. In this case, it is not the capacity that poses limitations, but rather the availability of plastic waste. Therefore, the company actively collaborates with the waste management industry to find effective solutions for handling plastic waste from both households and the industry. "We work closely with upstream actors to ensure access to raw materials. With our ambitions, we will likely need to consider multiple waste streams," says Jakobsen.

Buildingthe team

Lately, Recuro has prioritised recruitment of key personell to guide the company through the capital fundraising process and into the first construction phase. First on board was CEO Arve Jakobsen, who took over after founder Eirik Belland transitioned to the role of working boardmember in September of last year. Shortly after, HR Director Liv Ingrid Ruset was hired, and in January of this year, the company announced two new team members—Bjørnar Tunheim as CTO and Vibeke Aarseth as the HSE and Quality Manager. In March, Runar Myrvoll also joined as the Project Director.

The rapid growth is partly enabled by the parent company Effee, a technology company that has experienced significant expansion in recent years. Recuro originates from this company.

"We receive significant support from Effee Induction. They have already undergone substantial growth, going from a handful of employees to 100 in just two years. They have access to resources and expertise that are highly beneficial to Recuro as well," says Jakobsen.

Jakobsen also express gratitude to Innovation Norway for their support, which has been and continues to be crucial, especially for the technologydevelopment.

Recuro is now preparing for the upcoming funding round.

Contact Arve if you need more information about this story.
Arve Jakobsen
Arve Jakobsen
Chief Executive Officer