Expanded polystyrene maker NexKemia Petrochemicals Inc. is acquiring a PS recycler in a deal that aims to use artificial intelligence to boost the use of recovered materials in new products.
Eco-Captation of Prévost, Quebec, "will become an integral part of developing an end-to-end circular model for EPS solutions," NexKemia said in announcing the transaction Jan. 30.
"The company combines artificial intelligence-enhanced optical sorting technology with a seamless mechanical recycling process to convert plastic waste into high quality raw materials made with post-consumer recycled material," NexKemia said.
NexKemia is in based in Mansonville, Quebec, not far from the border with Vermont, and Eco-Captation is north of Montreal. The two locations are separated by about 127 miles.
"Scaling up Eco-Captation's technologies will allow NexKemia to rapidly grow our capacity for sustainable expandable polystyrene solutions that incorporate a significant percentage of post-consumer recycled material," NexKemia General Manager Pierre Beaudry said in a statement.
Maurice Barakat is president of Integreon Global, owner of NexKemia. He said Eco-Captation will allow his company to lower the carbon footprint of the packaging and insulation products NexKemia makes.
Eco-Captation, which translates to eco-capture in English, operates about three dozen locations for the collection of EPS in Quebec.
"Our process is based on source sorting of the material. We collect polystyrene from consumption, construction or packaging. These centers are located across the province to transport the material to our processing site," Eco-Captation said on the company's website.
"The processing takes place in a process based on artificial intelligence. The objective is to provide a raw material for the realization of products or materials. Thus, ECO, our robot, carries out the various operations of transformation of the recovered polystyrene to correspond to the specifications of each of our customers," the website reads.
Integreon also owns Cryopak, a maker of insulated shipping containers, including EPS, polyurethane and polyisocyanurate, to keep products cold during transportation.