Five Elements Environmental Technologies: Designing Sustainable Plastic Processing Technologies for a Greener Tomorrow

Kavita Gupta ,Head of Technology Commercialization

Kavita Gupta

Head of Technology Commercialization

Plastics, notorious for their extreme ecological harm, have raised alarms worldwide, compelling governments to take strong action against plastic waste. While recycling and reusing hard plastics have welle-stablished solutions, the challenge lies in dealing with flexible plastics. Unlike hard plastics, flexible plastics cannot be processed through mechanical recycling methods, leaving a gap in effective waste management strategies.

Bridging this gap in the industry through a patented technology, the Palghar based Five Elements Environmental Technologies is at the forefront of bringing in the next phase of environmental conservation strategies. Established to bring back balance in nature through green technologies, Five Elements derived inspiration from the five elements that have formed the world- Agni, Aakash, Vayu, Jal, and Prithvi- in perfect balance.

Technological Marvel
Less than 10 percent of plastic is recycled worldwide. Lack of recycling has accumulated plastic and microplastics in the environment that are posing an immense threat to all aquatic and terrestrial life, including humans. To prevent further damage, Five Elements took on the challenge to treat hard-to-recycle plastics, breaking it down into smaller liquid hydrocarbons via its patented technology that has been successfully demonstrated as an environment friendly as well as economically viable solution.
Sourcing plastic waste from dump yards, Five Elements takes a different approach than the traditional method of burning which releases harmful greenhouse gases. The firm removes mud/soil moisture and other impurities via an innovative in-house dry preprocessing system that does not use any water for cleaning the plastic. The dry, clean and shredded plastic output is further processed in various stages including melting, dehalogenation to remove impurities like chlorine and bromine, followed by thermal decomposition in novel pyrolysis reactors, where it is heated under a nitrogen atmosphere to break down the polymer chains.

The resulting product is vaporized and subjected to distillation, separating it into various fractions. The primary output is pyrolysis oil which has extensive applications including advanced chemical recycling to manufacture recycled plastic with same properties as virgin plastic. Petrochemical companies like Reliance, Shell, SABIC and many more, have committed to using millions of tons of pyrolysis oil to replace fossil-fuel based naphtha in the plastic manufacturing process. “We don’t burn the plastic. We are cooking plastic in a reactor without oxygen. We are just breaking it down into smaller components, and we don’t release any toxic gases into the atmosphere. We don’t produce any heavy wax residues with disposal issues.

Five Elements takes a more environment friendly approach than the traditional method of burning to reduce harmful greenhouse gases

So it’s a more environmentally friendly process”, shares Kavita Gupta, Head of Technology Commercialization, Five Elements Environmental Technologies. Five Element’s state-of-the-art plant boasts full automation, eco-friendliness, and exceptional energy efficiency, while handling 5 to 30 tons of waste daily. Five Elements has been recognized as the sole operational facility capable of processing lowgrade, hard-to-recycle, dump yardgrade plastic waste and holds an ISCC Plus certification, a proof of its commitment to international sustainability.

Future Roadmap
The company’s future vision extends globally, aimed at offering waste plastic to oil plants ranging from 5 to 30 tonnes per day, with larger capacity plants on the horizon. The company also intends to provide key proprietary equipment, comprehensive engineering, procurement, construction services, and annual maintenance contracts for comprehensive solutions.

In the next five years, Five Elements aspires to establish numerous plants across the globe, collectively processing over a million tons of plastic waste, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a substantial 250,000 tons, and generating thousands of direct and indirect jobs in rural areas. This journey, though challenging, is the confirmation to the firm’s commitment and optimism for a more sustainable future.