Licella co-founder recognised in 2024 Honours List for advanced plastics recycling technology

advanced recycling

The inventor of an advanced plastics recycling technology has been recognised in the 2024 Kings Birthday Honours List.

Professor Thomas Maschmeyer, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, received an Order of Australia (AO) “for distinguished service to science as a researcher, innovator and educator, and business through pioneering commercial technologies”.

plastic recycling
Professor Thomas Maschmeyer. Image: Australian Academy of Science

Maschmeyer’s Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor uses water at super critical temperatures to convert end of life mixed plastics, usually destined for landfill, into recycled oil.

The process has been successfully trialled on the central coast of New South Wales and is set to be rolled out commercially by Licella Holdings, a company Maschmeyer co-founded.

The technology is said to help power a circular economy for plastics.

“It’s about changing the conversation and making the problem of plastic into an opportunity,” Maschmeyer has said.

Maschmeyer was previously awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation (2020) for translating his work to address climate change and resource limitations.

Professor Maschmeyer has also reimagined zinc-bromide chemistry to develop a completely new solar energy battery technology, making renewable energy safer and cheaper.

He was the recipient of the Australian Academy of Science David Craig Medal (2021) and Le Fevre Memorial Prize (2007).

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