We develop a mobile, self-sufficient and profitable machine able to transform plastic wastes into energy.
FoundersSamuel le Bihan
Headquarters69002 Lyon, France
Earthwake is a NGO founded in December 2014 by Samuel le Bihan and Benoit Miribel. They created Earthwake to find solutions that prevent plastic waste from reaching our oceans and to empower the populations that are weakened by this pollution. This is important because, once in the water, plastic wastes break down into microparticles invisible to the naked eye, making it almost impossible to clean. The Earthwake team were quickly joined by François Danel (ex Action against hunger director), offering the expertise he gained in his humanitarian career.
From the outset, the idea was to give value to plastic waste to incentivise its collection. With this in mind, the founding members of Earthwake quickly became very interested in the technologies of Pyrolysis and Plastic to Oil. They looked into various technologies without finding a reliable, affordable, and eco-friendly upgrading system. Earthwake's turning point was meeting Christofer Costes. He was working on the first version of a pyrolysis equipment. Christofer Costes, joined the team, and the journey to develop the first low-tech plastic pyrolyzer capable of turning plastic waste into fuel began.
In September 2018, after three years of R&D and testing, Earthwake presented a demonstrator of a machine called Chrysalis.
The launch of the Chrysalis was a milestone in our development and the official demonstration that low-tech solutions can be put in place to clean up plastic waste on our planet. Given that plastic pollution damages are higher in developing countries and primarily affect countries that lack the resources to effectively tackle the issue, the use of chrysalis machines also aims to assist countries in the global south and remote regions by converting this waste in to a fuel.
Chrysalis is a real instrument of the circular and local economy. The main ambition of the Chrysalis is to fight plastic pollution by offering a practical solution: to turn waste into a source of energy. Our second ambition is to make plastic recycling a source of income and job creation.The latest version of our machine, the Chrysalis 40 (40 kg of plastic wastes transfomed per cycle), was presented this September on the World Clean-up day in France. This low-tech pyrolysis machine is capable of converting 160kg of plastics per day into 120L of diesel fuel. This event was the culmination of years of work and the real start of our clean-up mission.
The device combines two technologies- the Pyrolysis and precision distillation. This integrated system makes the Chrysalis 40 significantly innovative compared to other pyrolysis systems.
Crucially, Pyrolysis is a combustion without oxygen and thus without a flame, which allows the plastic to become another material. The plastic is melted and distilled, then cooled and recovered in various states, including diesel. This enables the production of a high-quality fuel directly usable in generators, agricultural machinery, boats...
Another impressive quality of Chrysalis is its energy self-sufficiency. Indeed, the gas produced during the process is used to power the machine. Also, Chrysalis does not emit toxic smokes because the combustion takes place in an hermetic oven.
Chrysalis has a 95% energy yield : 65% of diesel, 15% of gasoline and 15% of gas. The 5% left are a residue of black carbon that can be enhanced.
Five main advantages can be found in Chrysalis :
- A solution that converts plastic wastes (even those which are not recyclable) into energy.
- A human-scale solution providing alternatives to landfilling and incineration.
- A mobile solution that can be installed easily and quickly in communities that need the most.
- A machine self-sufficient in energy that provides vulnerable populations energy through their plastic wastes
- A profitable solution
The machine is visible here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JboxVrm53i0 (in French)