The rubber capital of the world, Akron, OH, is poised to become one of the hotbeds of a new technology that can convert ordinary plastic waste into useable forms of energy. Vadxx, one of the leading startups in the field, has spent years focusing on R&D to find a way to essentially convert plastic back into hydrocarbons, the organic molecules that are found in everything from gasoline to mascara.
The process used by Vadxx consists of applying high heat to plastic debris through a rotating boiler. As the plastic melts, it releases a vapor that is then cooled to form liquid hydrocarbons. After a little refining, the resulting product can be shipped off to refineries and other companies that use petroleum-based substances in their products.
With the support of the city of Akron, as well as financial backing from eager investors, Vadxx is prepared to take their plastic to energy process into prime time. The company is currently building a full-scale production plant on land provided by the city in exchange for 1% of the company’s profits. Once completed, the company’s facility will occupy some 25,000 square feet, providing ample space for all the equipment needed to take in the city’s plastic debris and start churning out fuel.
The company has already stated that they are in talks with a major fuel marketer as a potential client for their petroleum products, increasing hopes that Vadxx and its competitors are on the verge of tapping a new market for reclaimed plastic debris. Likewise, the city hopes that Vadxx will be able to scale up production for even more plants, providing a huge potential for job growth.