Meridian Innovations: Capitalizing on the Value of Recovered Materials
In February 2017, we announced Meridian Innovations LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Meridian Waste Solutions.
While our core business is centered on residential and commercial waste collection and disposal, we are also inspired by our fundamental objective to seek more effective and sustainable material production technologies through innovation.
Meridian Innovations was created with a purpose of investing in advanced byproduct recovery technologies and, in some cases, acquiring certain downstream production assets, which could further capitalize on the value these recovered materials generate.
What we know:
- Enormous volumes of industrial and manufacturing residues are disposed of on a daily basis from agricultural, paper, building and plastics markets.
- These residues contain concentrated sources of otherwise valuable materials that, if separated and further processed, could yield superior economic value.
- While curbside recycling efforts are challenging due to the high cost of collection, industrial residue collection can be extremely efficient as hundreds of tons of very clean, molecularly consistent raw material can be recovered daily at each site.
What we're doing:
- Identified a technical development team of experts who have a successful technology development and commercialization history to lead the charge.
- These technologists have played an instrumental part in generating more than $500 million per year in net income through recovery of materials from otherwise low value industrial byproduct streams.
- Exploring potentially disruptive technologies in an effort to alter the landscape of the sustainable manufacturing and profitability.
"It is imperative that both sustainability and economic benefits are jointly respected and gained." - Jeff Cosman, CEO, Meridian Waste Solutions
What is lignin?
Our initial efforts are focused on a one of the most researched natural materials on earth. Lignin is a byproduct of pulp and paper processing used as a feedstock in the production of high performance, low cost biobased plastics. Currently incinerated on-site for power generation purposes, the energy value of these materials is less than 3 cents per pound.
If the lignin is extracted from the byproduct stream prior to incineration, then the lignin can be used as a highly valuable green chemical for the production of high performance green plastics or even for the production of low-cost green transportation fuels such as gasoline or diesel.
Image credit: University of Delaware Center for Composite Materials
Lignin has been successfully used in the production of:
- Biobased plastics
- Lightweight foam
- Carbon fiber
- Renewable fuels
While lignin can be sold into many different industries as a low cost biobased feedstock, Meridian Innovations plans to further refine and convert the material into higher valued solutions.