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Chemical recycling of plastics advances

by Alexander H. Tullo
December 12, 2019 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 97, Issue 48


Chemical recycling continues to gain momentum as a solution to the plastic waste crisis. The French oil and chemical giant Total, the French environmental nonprofit Citeo, and the food companies Mars and Nestlé are working with Recycling Technologies to develop a pyrolysis plant in France. The plant will use Recycling Technologies’ process for turning hard-to-recycle plastics such as multilayer packaging into an oil that can be converted back into plastic. Total’s goal is for 30% of its plastics sales to come from recycled polymers by 2030. Meanwhile, Ineos Styrolution and Agilyx are proceeding with plans to build a plant in Channahon, Illinois, that will convert postconsumer polystyrene goods, such as used food containers, into styrene, which Styrolution will use as raw material in its polymer facilities on the site. The plant will have the capacity to process 100 metric tons of polystyrene waste per day. And Anellotech, a Pearl River, New York, start-up that is developing a thermal catalytic process to convert biomass into aromatics, says it will launch a version of the technology that converts postconsumer plastics into chemicals. It intends to pilot the process and develop it over the next several years.


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