Ineos Styrolution today confirmed that its previously announced plans to invest into a pilot plant for advanced recycling of polystyrene would be going through. The plant will be based on depolymerisation technology and set up in collaboration with Recycling Technologies in Swindon, UK. It is expected to be operational in the second half of 2022.
Depolymerisation is an advanced recycling technology that converts polystyrene waste feedstock back into its main building block, styrene which can then be used to manufacture new polystyrene with identical properties to the virgin material. Polystyrene is one of the very few polymers that can be converted back into its specific monomer, avoiding the need to downcycle polystyrene.
Using depolymerisation technology to produce polystyrene also has a significantly smaller carbon footprint than when producing virgin polystyrene from naphtha.
“We are on the right path to make polystyrene a circular material,” said Alexander Glück, President EMEA at Ineos Styrolution
The Swindon pilot plant will be based on Recycling Technologies’ fluidised bed reactor technology, which offers good scalability for constructing larger plants in the future.
Ineos Styrolution is the leading global styrenics supplier, with a focus on styrene monomer, polystyrene, ABS Standard and styrenic specialties. In 2020, sales were at 4 billion euros. Ineos Styrolution employs approximately 3,600 people and operates 20 production sites in ten countries.