Bin2Barrel, a young Dutch chemical recycling company focused on the development of plastic-to-fuel projects marked the start of construction of its first plant in the port area of Amsterdam 15 June with the ceremonial driving of the first pile.
But before the actual pile driving, came the announcement that Bin2Barrel had been acquired by a company called Integrated Green Energy Singapore Ltd, a 100% subsidiary of Australia-based Integrated Green Energy Solutions Ltd (IGES), and would henceforth be known as Integrated Green Energy Solutions Amsterdam B.V.
Bin2Barrel was founded in 2012 by Floris Geeris and Paul Harkema, two young but highly experienced entrepreneurs on a mission: finding a way to turn waste plastics into a sustainable alternative for traditional transport fuels.
As Floris Geeris said during the ceremony, five important things were needed to get to that point: “Feedstock, technology, production, location and financing. IGES had the technology and could help with the funding.”
A location was found in the Amsterdam port area, which offers good tank storage facilities. In fact, an early partner in the Bin2Barrel project was the Port of Amsterdam, whose circular economy ambitions tally perfectly with the plant's goal of creating a new fuel from an otherwise problematic waste product. The Port of Amsterdam became a shareholder in 2014. “The company introduces innovative and badly needed technology that will enable us to make use of a currently non-recyclable flow of waste in a manner that makes perfect sense,” said Roon van Maanen, Head of Circular & Renewable Industry at Port of Amsterdam.
The new plant will implement patented technology through which unrecyclable waste plastics are converted to road-ready diesel fuel, explained Paul Dickson, chairman of the board of IGES. “No one else can do that,” he emphasized. “Post-consumer plastic waste, agricultural films – we can handle virtually all kinds of waste plastic except for PVC and Teflon, which is sorted out using infrared technology.” The road-ready diesel that is produced is precisely that: “Its low sulphur content means it meets the EN 590 standard in full,” Dickson said. He added that the carbon footprint of diesel produced using this technology was 38% lower than that of conventional diesel.
The technology combines pyrolysis with solvent extraction and incorporates an impurity extraction module, which makes it possible to process contaminated mixes of waste that would otherwise be incinerated or landfilled. The ashy residue drops to the bottom of the kiln.
Stuart Clark, managing director of IGES Ltd. said the process also included a scrubber to clean the system internally, as this would otherwise become too gummed up to operate.
“We plan to process 100 tons of waste plastics a day,” he added. “From that we will produce 35 million litres of diesel a year. Once the Amsterdam plant is up and running, we plan to roll out the technology at sites across the UK and Singapore, among others.”
An independent sustainability consultancy calculated that 57,000 metric tonnes in CO2 emissions will be saved annually by processing the waste plastic in the new plant, compared to the current waste management practices.
IGES said the plant, which involves an investment of $30m, is expected to go into operation before the end of 2018, and will provide 30 new jobs.