Total SA's polymers business unit and Montreal-based clean technology start-up Polystyvert have joined forces to work together on the “dissolution and purification” of household post-consumer polystyrene.
In a 2 May statement, Total said the agreement will seek to combine Polystyvert's innovative method for polystyrene recycling with Total's know-how in industrial-scale dissolution and polymerisation technologies to generate high-quality recyclates.
Polystyvert has developed a low-carbon-footprint technology for recycling polystyrene that is based on a dissolution process.
The process, according to Total, produces recyclates which can be used in a broader range of market applications than recyclates produced through mechanical recycling methods.
Household post-consumer plastics such as polystyrene often contain contaminants that make mechanical recycling difficult or not practical.
Total said it performed three successful test runs with post-consumer recyclates incorporated in virgin polymer via dissolution and polymerisation in 2017.
“Working with Polystyvert to tackle household post-consumer waste is the next logical step for Total," added Jean Viallefont, VP polymers Europe, Total Refining & Chemicals.