About my Start-up
TerraWaste is developing a platform technology which focuses on recycling plastics, dry, wet and mixed waste through an advanced chemical recycling pollution-free process resulting in high-value chemicals, oil and biochar. The technology used for this process is a high-pressure/high-temperature Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) system whose design includes highly efficient use of energy, water and catalysts producing zero waste whilst converting waste plastics into value.
We will be able to turn the problem of plastic waste into an almost free resource that can become the feedstock for the plastics industry, thereby creating a circular supply chain, and reducing the amount of virgin plastic used by industry and society…
TerraWaste will therefore reduce the amount of waste going to landfills, incineration and into nature. It will instead provide upcycled materials for use repeatedly. Our technology is being designed to be highly energy-efficient and pollution free.
Why your idea is a “winner"?:
TerraWaste was born global. TerraWaste NL is the registered office. We now have an entity in Latvia and since we expanded our operations in Austria, we have an entity there too. Since the plastics industry and the problems of waste plastic are global – we are expecting to have to register ourselves where the big opportunities beckon.
While the core team is based in two countries, our scientist is in India and our advisory board members are in Denmark, Germany, the USA and Austria. The most interesting aspect is that the team was born during the Covid period, which meant working remotely. The team met face-to-face for the first time in October 2021, after already working together for 9 months. They proved that it is possible to start a business and still develop the technology even if the team doesn’t work in the same location daily. We have gone through tough times, and are still going strong, which means, we will be able to overcome the challenges ahead of us.
What is your current or intended business/revenue model?:
Our business model will evolve through technology and commercial readiness levels that are typical of deep-tech ventures.
TRL 4/5: Priority in the short term.
Since we are at an early stage, both as a business and as an industry dealing with an intractable problem, we envision our business model to grow along the following lines:
We will conduct laboratory tests for our clients, where we work as an intermediary between our clients and the University/ Research labs with whom we are building relationships. These facilities will provide reliable/usable reports for our clients who can work with regulatory and other agencies to craft their own sustainability and net zero strategies.
TRL 5/7: Evolution into the medium term.
We will build and operate two 100Lit/ hour continuous flow HTL reactors that will enable us to learn the deeper needs of our clients across multiple materials and waste stream supply chains. This operation will be semi-commercial and we aim to break even while testing larger volumes of plastic feedstock, understanding the needs of the inbound feedstock vendors/providers and the prices/efficacy and efficiency of the outbound materials. We will also learn of the multiple revenue streams and costs, optimise processes and begin to develop
large-scale awareness of our solution.
TRL 6/9: Opportunities for a longer term.
There is likely to be some overlap with the previous TRL stage – but as we develop our 1000 Lit per hour system which can operate at commercial levels, we will have stabilized our designs,
catalysts, and processes and can begin to generate revenues by licensing catalysts and technologies as well as operating TerraWaste as a Service. The business model will be predicated on promoting a platform technology to petrochemical companies; buying or charging for plastic waste depending on the market and turning that into high-value chemicals.
Do you have any Patent or IP registered (related to the solution that you are looking for an investment)?:
Currently, we do not have any patents registered. We are keeping our IP as a corporate secret.
The first patent is planned to be filed by the end of summer 2023.
Has your technology already been implemented in any field/sector?:
Yes, HTL technology is working in the bio-waste processing sector by turning biowaste into biofuels. The best example is an Australian company called Licella.
Which market and customer need(s)/problem(s) is (are) your products(s)/service(s) going to solve?:
Plastic is a wholly man-made miracle material, but waste plastic has become a global problem and its production from fossil fuels means that it is also a significant contributor to carbon emissions. Major companies have signed up for the UN plastic treaty and a net zero future. However, they are struggling to meet their pledges. Unless we can bring forward truly scalable alternative solutions (to fossil) and enable big companies to transition to sustainable materials we will not hit climate change goals. It is in this context of urgency that we have positioned TerraWaste.
Our market opportunity is driven by a number of factors:
• Environmental crisis: where Governments, society and industry are becoming increasingly aware of the problems of waste plastic
• Economic costs: Damage to the environment, cleaning up and the threat of fines for polluters pays rules.
• Regulatory pressures: Increasingly cities, nations and regions are implementing a variety of bans and rules to impact plastic production and waste handling.
• Consumer demands: The sentiment of consumers is shifting towards the reduction of the use of virgin plastics.
• Technology: With growing pressures on the plastics industry there is a growing drive for innovation to find technological solutions.