CYCLOPS stands for Chemical recYCLing of Oxygenated Polymer materialS. 4 Partners kick-started the MOT project CYCLOPS on March 17, 2022. 

The widespread use of polymers in a variety of applications is accompanied by the exemption of large volumes of plastic waste (29.1 million tpa in 2018 in the EU), of which only 32.5% is recycled to date. To increase the circularity of plastics, it is envisaged that (1) by 2030 60% of the post-consumer volume of heteropolymers (MOT2 KPI#2) and (2) by 2040 75% of all plastics will be recycled.  

CYCLOPS aims to provide a unique and innovative solution to help reaching these targets by processing different types of oxygen-containing polymer materials, in particular PET, PC and epoxy resins, as well as blends such as PET/PE, PET/PC and PC/ABS. By recycling, greenhouse gas emissions related to feedstock production and waste incineration are avoided. Based on preliminary LCA calculations, the CYCLOPS process shows the potential to reduce the CO2 emissions by ca. 1.9 Mt/year in Europe compared to incineration. 

The project targets three specific valorization objectives aiming for: 

  1. the design of a scalable depolymerization process for oxygenated polymer materials recycling
  2. the production of different di/polyols from the chemical recycling of oxygenated polymer materials
  3. the synthesis of recyclable functional materials from depolymerized streams. 

The kick-off meeting of the project took place on March 17th, 2022 with the 4 consortium partners, each highly specialized and recognized in its field: 

  • VITO, as a coordinator (Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek, BE), with 2 teams 

    • Sustainable POlymer Technologies (SPOT) which holds expertise in innovative depolymerization technologies as well as the formulation and recycling of recyclable materials. 

    • Membrane Separation and Value Chain Assessment (MESCH) which will offer sustainable methods for downstream processing and will provide the assessment of the techno-economic and environmental impact of the developed technology. 

  • UGent, with two partners: 

    • Laboratory for Chemical Technology (LCT) will combine new catalyst synthesis and reactor design. 

    • Laboratory for Circular Process Engineering (LCPE) specialized in the characterization of waste streams and the purification of the depolymerization products. 

The MOT CYCLOPS project is a Strategic Basic Research for Clusters (cSBO) with a duration of 4 years. The project has an overall budget of € 2,527.282 KEUR received from the Moonshot Program, an industry-driven innovation program of the Flemish Government, coordinated by Catalisti, that supports companies in reducing their CO2 emissions. 

For more information, please contact or

Cyclops partners
+32 14 33 69 35