As a child he wanted to be an astronaut, but that was not a profession according to his teacher. Business consultant it became to be! Peter Klaren founded the company Pyrolyze together with his partner Raymundo Hooten. Together they want to solve environmental problems in a decentralized way. Not by transporting waste, but converting it on site into useful new products.
Last month they launched a mobile pyrolysis machine, with which they can convert waste motor oil into diesel, naphtha, gas and carbon black. Also they will soon be launching a machine for converting waste plastics into direct usable resources. How will this device change the world? An interview with Peter.
What is pyrolysis?
“Pyrolysis is a technology in which you convert carbonaceous materials into new raw materials at a high temperature, without adding oxygen. At Pyrolyze we do this with two mobile machines: one for waste motor oil and one for waste plastics. The waste engine oil machine can process 350 liters per day and is ready for production. The machine for waste plastics is ready in design and will soon process 150 kilos of waste plastic per hour. Both devices convert their waste stream for 100% into new products: 50% clean diesel for use in vehicles, 30% naphtha as raw material for raw plastics, 10% gas for energy supply of the device and 10% carbon black for the pressing of floor tiles.”
What environmental problem do you solve with this?
“The problem of inefficient and incomplete waste processing. If you look at the Netherlands alone, only about half of all plastic waste that is collected can be recycled. The rest serves as fuel for incinerators and comes with enormous transportation costs. The energy value of incineration is relatively small and the pollution relatively high. With our pyrolysis system we convert the entire waste plastic locally into new products of value without any emissions. In this way we make the residual flows completely circular and we save tons of CO2 because little transport is required.
Our waste engine oil pyrolysis machine is especially interesting for developing countries. There is no one there to collect the waste oil from garages, so the stuff just runs into the ground. That is not only a shame, but it also causes enormous pollution. A little bit of waste motor oil can pollute a whole stream. ”
Completely circular! How is it possible that your machine did not yet exist?
“The technology of pyrolysis is complex and works at extremely high temperatures. If you want to implement this in large reactors on a central scale, the reactor technology is almost impossible to control. As a result, many major initiatives in this area have already been killed. The sweet spot of our machines is that we carry out the process in a small decentralized scale. You can literally walk around the machine and replace parts directly if necessary. This allows us to continuously optimize and guarantee the quality of the output. ”
Isn’t this decentralized approach also a disadvantage in the centrally regulated waste industry?
“Not necessarily. Our product offers major advantages for waste management companies. Because the machine is so easy to move, you can place it wherever you want: even in the middle of your waste separation station. Where you normally pay a gate fee to have the waste plastics removed, you can now get paid for the resources you produce with our machine.
But waste management companies are not our only potential customers. We are in discussion with governments, the food industry, companies in packaging materials, chemical groups, etc. We can easily move the machines on a trailer or ship worldwide. So installing it on a polluted beach in Bali is also possible. On our website we receive daily questions from all over the world. That gives us confidence that the concept is going to work.”
What can BeStart do for your company?
“During the first coaching session, we were mainly challenged whether we had thought of everything. The conclusion was: you have the company well underway. The product, the vision, the strategy and the ROI are correct. We have 5 potential customers for our waste oil machine and an R&D project is coming up. At the same time, with Pyrolyze we enter a process of which we do not know the course and outcome. Of course it is nice to use the knowledge and experience of people who have played the game more often. In addition, we hope to gain many useful contacts via the BeStart network. ”
How can the BeStart network help you?
“We are looking for potential customers who have a waste problem and who see a business case in solving it. We use a three-stage rocket:
- Testing the waste materials of our potential clients on a lab scale. Which waste oils and waste plastics do you have?
- Run a pilot project with a smaller installation at the customer’s location. Tests run with their waste material on a batch level.
- Purchase and instruction of the large installation for continuous processing of waste flows.
For people who are interested: on our website we explain the machine and the pyrolysis process completely and you can even purchase the waste engine oil installation. The installation for waste motor oil will soon be available for viewing by appointment in Amersfoort. There the machine will be set up next to an innovative new-build home from Heilijgers, which largely consists of styrofoam. At the end of the life cycle, the house can be recycled by our installation and so the circle is complete again.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or ideas via email@example.com or 085 – 3033505. ”
Peter Klaren and Raymundo Hooten
Product developer Jelte Steur quit his job at Pezy to focus on a product he really believes in: Eatcup. But what is Eatcup anyway and how did this idea come to life? You can read all about it in this interview with Jelte.
What is Eatcup?
‘Eatcup helps people enjoy their own breakfast on the go, for when they don’t have time at home, for example in the morning. It is a cup you can eat from because the food is pushed up to the top where you can take a bite. It is just as easy as sipping coffee, but then with your own homemade muesli or granola. In a video on my new website www.myeatcup.com I show how it works.’
How does Eatcup contribute to a cleaner world?
Eatcup prevents the use of single-use-packaging of for example granola-bars and drink-yoghurts. And because people can prepare their own healthy food, they can also choose for organic and locally grown food.
That will also save money spent at the train station. Where did you get this idea?
‘In my job as a product developer with Philips, I got an itch after a while. How much better is the world going to be with this new shaver? I looked around for relevant problems or product that I felt would make this world a better place.
One Saturday morning my wife said: “I love this muesli and it is healthy, too bad I don’t have time during the week to eat it. I always leave so early, that I end up eating a sandwich in the car.” At that moment I clicked: That is a relevant problem I would love to solve! It was on Christmas eve when I tinkered with an old pump for an air mattress, to test whether I could push muesli upwards with a plunger and easily eat from the top. And it worked! Now, a couple of years later, I have a working prototype that can be used with one hand, is easy to clean and also looks good!’
What is your ambition, and your biggest challenge of the moment?
‘I have a few working prototypes that have been tested over a long time. Technically it is possible. Now I have to investigate if I can build a business. Can it be manufactured in series? Is it economically viable? This year I want to create a pilot series and sell it to answer these questions. Next up is the strategic question with whom I can and want to scale this. The BeStart accelerator fits this development perfectly, both for my company and for myself as an entrepreneur.’
What have you experienced so far in the BeStart accelerator?
‘The intention alone to join, and the starting up of the process already has had an impact. Setting goals and sparring with coaches has sharpened what I do and how I approach it. And the real program has yet to get started! The exposure after the announcement of my selection for the programme was an additional push I needed to get my website in order. Now I finally have a place where I can explain how Eatcup works and where people can sign up for the pilot launch. So if you are thinking: a healthy and calm breakfast on the go is something for me: sign up on www.myeatcup.com.
Well done. What are you looking forward to in the coming months?
‘If you are talking about BeStart: actually meeting the coaches and other participants. I have looked at a few websites and it is exciting to note the diversity of the participants especially. The most important aspect is meeting each other in person and hopefully we can do that in May and June and really get started.’
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