BioCellection invent technologies to transform unrecyclable PE into virgin-quality building blocks for a circular economy.
BioCellection is a for-profit startup, developing advanced technologies to transform unrecyclable plastics into virgin-quality chemicals for sustainable supply chains. By focusing on the 92% of plastic waste too contaminated and difficult to recycle, we are unlocking a massive resource that leads to unprecedented opportunities.
BioCellection was founded in May 2015 at the University of Pennsylvania, where cofounders Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao started building their proof of concept in the chemical engineering lab 2 years after giving a TED Talk about plastic-eating bacteria, which was the topic of the cofounders’ winning high school science project. After receiving their seed investment of $50,000 from SOSV partner Bill Liao, BioCellection continued to build the company at UPenn, where the team became the first undergraduate team in UPenn history to win the Wharton Business Plan Competition Grand Prize. In June 2016, the company raised $600,000 in convertible notes and relocated to San Jose, California, where it began to grow its inhouse technical talent and assets. Around this time, realizing that a pure biological process for breaking down plastics was too slow to scale, Miranda and Jeanny decided to apply and improve upon thermochemical processes that were previously entertained purely for theoretical research. In early 2017, the team achieved success in transforming various forms of organic-contaminated plastic waste into useful dibasic acids and special polymers. The current state of the provisionally-patented technology has been scaled to convert 5g of plastic waste per machine cycle of 2 hours. The team is currently exploring product applications of the chemical outputs while simultaneously experimenting with a large variety of plastic waste supplied through a pilot project in partnership with the City of San Jose and local materials recovery company GreenWaste Recovery, Inc.