While Dow will supply funding and the initial waste silicone rubber for the project, Circusil's groundbreaking technology provides the output, Peeters said.
The process enables the production of silicone fluids from silicone-based materials, "mitigating the detrimental environmental consequences of improper disposal, increased carbon footprint and reducing reliance on virgin materials," Circusil states on its website.
"By reintegrating silicone fluids into industrial applications, Circusil is working to ensure waste reduction and resource efficiency," the company said. "This vision embodies the very essence of circularity, where materials are continuously repurposed, echoing the harmony of nature's cycles."
Circusil's process conquers one of the major challenges in silicone recycling, which is cracking the cross-links developed in silicone rubber's unique curing phase.
Though much of the Circusil process is proprietary, essentially waste silicone rubber is cracked and purified, then reintegrated into industrial applications.
"They converge the silicone to be recycled into silicone that can go back to market, so it is a fully circular model," Peeters said. "They are the tech provider and the conversion party."
Dow then re-enters the supply stream picture.
"I think that is a part of our role as well, bringing recycled silicone back to market," Peeters said.
Most types of silicone rubber are eligible for the process, Peeters said, including LSRs, HCR (or gum silicone rubber) and room-temperature vulcanizates.
"(Circusil's) process actually breaks the cross-links and they make monomer again," Peeters said. "This gives you the freedom to make silicones of virgin quality once again.
"It's a really cool process."