November 15, 2012
THORNTON, ENGLAND (Nov. 15, 10:15 a.m. ET) – Victrex plc, the Thornton-based producer of polyether ether ketone, and the University of Manchester have started a project to produce a monomer raw material with the aim of reducing waste and energy use in the production process.
Victrex said: “Always looking to improve, Victrex has instigated this project in response to an increasing requirement for monomer raw material and a desire to be more sustainable. The idea is to create less waste in the production of the raw material, providing a higher purity which is more environmentally friendly and energy and resource efficient. This issue presents a significant challenge for Victrex and the industry as a whole.”
The Technology Strategy Board is funding a feasibility study in the project through its program called “Sustainable Manufacturing for the Process Industry.”
Initially Victrex planned to manage the project internally, but given the challenges involved, it worked with the Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (KCMC) to identify academic capabilities in the United Kingdom that would support the project.
KCMC, which acts as a bridge between academia and industry, helped Victrex identify the University of Manchester as its partner for the project and also helped coordinate a work program across departments.
The feasibility study will last for nine months. Victrex is investing in capital equipment that will be used in the university department. If the study is successful, a second stage would involve and industrial pilot plant to produce material in kilogram quantities.
Victrex said it could not reveal details of what the project will focus on due to confidentiality reasons.