Connora, Aditya Birla form partnership to scale up amines for recycling

The companies are developing metric-ton scale manufacturing processes for Connora's Recyclamine, which eases and accelerates composites recycling.

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Connora Technologies Inc. (Hayward, California) and Aditya Birla Chemicals’ Epoxy Division (India, Thailand and Germany) on Sept. 26 announced a joint development agreement to scale up the manufacturing of Connora’s recyclable epoxy thermoset technology called Recyclamine.

The two companies are now developing metric-ton scale manufacturing processes for Recyclamine, previously demonstrated at pilot scale. Connora has developed a novel proprietary amine synthesis platform to make Recyclamines.

Aditya Birla Chemicals, a multinational manufacturer of epoxy resins and curing agents, is contributing infrastructure, capabilities and resources to Connora towards scale-up and commercialization of Recyclamine technology. Connora’s CEO, Dr. Rey Banatao, explains, “As a start-up company, we have been working extremely hard over the past several years to gain the validation of a large and well respected global manufacturing partner such as Aditya Birla Chemicals. Their decades of expertise in scale-up manufacturing and sales of epoxy resins, on a global scale, is invaluable to Connora at this stage of technology commercialization.”

Co-founder and CTO, Dr. Stefan Pastine adds, “From the start, we knew the chemistry would have to be designed to be industrially scalable, but it was no small task. The fact that Aditya Birla Chemicals believes in our mission of making thermosets recyclable, and is willing to invest in its development, is tremendous validation.”

Connora’s Recyclamine synthesis platform provides a modular and rapid chemistry approach for making new polyamine molecules. A patented feature of Recyclamines is their ability to create cured resins that can be recycled into a reusable thermoplastic, thus enabling true end-of-life recycling and zero-waste manufacturing in the thermoset composites industry.

“We had our eye on Connora from its early days, due the potential disruption their technology could bring in an industry that hasn’t changed all that much in the past 30 years,” says Pradip Kumar Dubey, president of Aditya Birla Chemicals Epoxy Division. “Perhaps just as remarkable as what Recyclamine technology could enable for the industry, is the fact that Connora has devised a completely new platform to manufacture polyamines, and one that doesn’t have the same toxicity or handling risks that are typically associated with the manufacture of the conventional amines used in the epoxy industry today.”

Connora notes that composites industry reports state that the manufacturing of composites today generates 5-40% of raw inputs as waste materials, for which there are few options in recycling or reuse. Making composites more recyclable through the use of Recyclamine could, says Connora, help reduce the overall cost of manufacturing composite products by re-integrating composite waste and reducing landfill costs.