The former ICI and Vireol man – who has spent his career designing, building and managing chemical plants across the world – said: “Teesside has lost the joined-up thinking that put it on the chemical industry map in the first place, in which neighbors used to feed each other raw materials rather than import them.
“What we hope to do is bring back some of that joined-up thinking. My aim is to build the first project on Teesside, as it’s the place to build a chemical site in the UK. Our customers would be within a five to 10-mile radius, and some even at the end of a pipe.”
“This site has the potential to provide 80 direct jobs, a couple of hundred support jobs and provide sites on Teesside with the advantage of having renewable raw materials on its doorstep.”
Solvert is currently developing the first of a four-phase plan, and is receiving encouraging results from its smaller-scale testing of the process at CPI’s Sustainable Processing Centre.
Solvert will use advanced biological fermentation processes to produce renewable n‑butanol, acetone, hydrogen and electricity from wet biodegradable waste.
He said: “All of the technology we’re using exists but has not been assembled and arranged in the way we have done it. Think of what we’re doing as a water treatment plant.
“We’re deliberately contaminating the water with biological waste and then going through a series of steps to purify the water again.
“The by-products from this process produce the commodity chemicals and biogas.”