Clean-tech company Clariter has developed a recycling solution for mixed plastic waste for which mechanical recycling is not a solution. Its process does not add to, but removes carbon from the environment.
This is the outcome of an independent initial Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) carried out by research and consultancy firm CE Delft. The LCA determined that the carbon footprint of Clariter's solution is below zero, indicating a net environmental benefit.
The study was commissioned in order to better understand the environmental impact of the recycling process, and constitutes both a communication tool towards stakeholders and customers and a guide for further engineering design activities.
The patented process developed by Clariter is a chemical one, through which plastic waste streams are upcycled into high-value, ready-to-use pure industrial products, including aliphatic solvents, white mineral oils, and paraffinic snow-white waxes - all ingredients used in over1000 end- and consumer products.
Clariter's near-term plan is to build and operate full-scale plants, each of which will recycle 60,000 tons of plastic waste and produce 50,000 tons of clean products annually.
“The results indicate that their solution looks more attractive than alternative, non-mechanical recycling polyolefin disposal routes and an even stronger CO₂ negative footprint is well within reach,” noted Geert Bergsma, Manager Supply Chain Analysis, CE-Delft.
Clariter’s full-scale plants are expected compare favourably to incineration in Municipal Solid Waste Incineration (MSWI) in terms of energy generation and to be competitive against best-case pyrolysis processes.
The company anticipates achieving an even more advantageous carbon footprint in the future, said Petra Koselka, COO at Clariter. Clariter is working to further optimise its plants and is looking to use renewable energy sources and possibly green hydrogen in the future.
“Delivering such green products to our customers – offering the industry "a clean slate" - is at the heart of what we do. The outcome is not only an important step for us but the entire chemical recycling sector,” said Koselka.