Recycled Organic Waste Process Helps Reduce Washington State Emissions

Test tubes containing renewable organic feedstocks

(Credit: Planted Materials)

by | Jan 5, 2024

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Planted Materials has announced plans to recycle non-woody waste biomass in order to provide renewable materials to local manufacturers in Washington state, reducing 2% of the state’s overall emissions.

The Planted Materials Modular Recycling Process, or PM2RP, converts organic food and plant waste into cellulose, lipids, and chemicals that may be used to make products like paper, bioplastics, and sustainable aviation fuel, among others.

The company also emphasizes its manufacturing process’ minimal reliance on fossil fuels — the Planted Materials biorefinery reportedly achieves highly efficient operations and captures biogenetic carbon as products are made. Planted Materials claims that the PM2RP process will eventually expand to be integrated with existing infrastructure, such as waste management and food processing facilities.

“We’ve spent the past four years analyzing different types of organic waste to identify market-ready materials that will drive the circular economy and help shift global dependence away from fossil fuels,” said Noah Belkhous, CEO and co-founder of Planted Materials. “Our commercialization plan is designed to help Washington reduce waste and emissions while also supplying companies with the necessary materials to help other manufacturers achieve their own sustainability goals.”

Now helping Washington state with its goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the company is looking ahead to achieving its next round of funding for further expansion.

Food Waste Recycling Eliminates Methane Emission from Landfills, Creates Renewable Products

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food waste causes about 58% of damaging methane emissions generated by landfills and is the largest component of municipal solid waste in the U.S.

Diverting food and other organics from waste streams may therefore serve a dual purpose, both reducing emissions caused by landfills and creating products commonly made from fossil fuel-derived materials. For example, some sustainable aviation fuels are made from food waste materials and are able to reduce emissions caused by air travel. Bioplastics made from organic matter may also replace conventional plastics that are predominantly made from fossil fuels.

While Planted Materials works to create renewable materials from food waste, other companies have developed processes to create energy from organics. Food waste technology company, Divert, is currently building a new facility in Washington state that aims to process 100,000 tons of wasted food into carbon-negative renewable energy.

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