End of 2018 the Clean2Antarctica team drove up and down the South Pole with the Solar Voyager. This vehicle is built from waste plastic and will be 100% solar-powered, autonomously without outside help. It will prove that it is possible to build a car with combined knowledge, purely on solar energy and through clean technology. This first solar expedition team is therefore determined to be the cleanest expedition ever! No waste, no emission!

From PET-Bottles to 5.000 HexCores
The Clean2Antarctica expedition contacted DuFor, because they needed recycled PET material. The recycled PET is used to print the body of the Solar Voyager. In close collaboration with Innofil3D and DuFor, recycled PET waste from water bottles was selected. The bottles are hot washed, grinded and separated on colour. In this way clean flakes of a homogeneous colour are obtained. DuFor has, in close corporation with it’s sister company Cumapol, a vast experience to upgrade recycled PET into valuable and (more) sustainable near virgin PET material. After the recycling steps, the engineers of DuFor perform an after-polymerization (reaction)step to extend the recycled PET polymer chains. This step ensures homogeneous properties of the recycled PET. In addition, this recycled PET meets food-compliant regulations. It is estimated that 1 KG recycled PET has about a 50% lower CO2 footprint than 1 KG virgin PET made from oil. As result, recycled PET is significantly more sustainable than virgin PET. The engineers of Innofil3D convert this plastic into InnoCircle PET filament and 30 Ultimaker FDM printers printed the  HexCores. 

Waste is a resource
By printing this recycled material in Hexangular (Hexcore) they built a construction that is light, strong and isolated enough to protect the adventurers against extreme weather conditions. Their goal: “Make sustainable business a game!” It is one which calls for patience, perseverance and the strength that comes from really wanting something. The project is a wide cooperation between people, organizations and governments who really want to transform to a circular economy.

Transition to a circular economy
The adventure in the expedition is a metaphor for the big challenge we as a society are facing; the transition to a circular economy. Just like in the expedition DuFor is exploring new innovations, which  would never have surfaced if we would have stayed in our comfort zone. Cooperation is one of the main aspects in this adventure, explore together and learn from each other. All these experiences will make us stronger and more innovative to create a successful circular economy. DuFor strongly believes in this philosophy and therefore supports this expedition wholeheartedly.

More information about recycled PET for 3D filament 

More information: website of Clean2Antarctica

Thomas Network -3D-printed Solar Voyager