A recycler in space

Made In Space, Inc. and Braskem join forces to build and launch a plastic recycler to the International Space Station (ISS); the machine will be used to produce plastic filaments for a 3D printer already onboard

In 2019, the International Space Station, orbiting earth at an altitude of 409 km, will get precious new equipment: a plastic recycler. The machine was produced by both Braskem and Made In Space, Inc. to recycle all green plastic used by the station’s 3D printer. Green plastic is produced by processing sugar cane ethanol. With this new technology, printed tools and other materials used onboard will be recycled and reused ‘locally’, closing the green plastic cycle in space.

Get to know Braskem’s positioning on Circular Economy in full:

Content published in October 4, 2018

What Braskem is doing about it?

Braskem is the developer and producer of the green plastic used in the “Space cement” mixture – a kind of plastic found by the end consumer in products with the “I’m green” label. The company invested in the research for the development of the material until launching the first commercial-scale green polyethylene plant in the world, in Triunfo, Rio Grande do Sul. The installation costed US$ 290 million, has a production capacity of 200.000 tons of green polyethylene a year and uses sugar cane as input.

Braskem has also partnered with “Made in Space,” which will launch a plastic recycling machine to the International Space Station, at 253 miles height. The recycling device is expected to reach the Station by the second semester of 2019. The goal is to end the cycle of green plastic in space by recycling tools made by a 3D printer already in the Station and which uses the green polyethylene as a filament.  

See more about the program Imprimindo o Futuro (Printing the Future), Braskem and Made In Space’s joint project:

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