LyondellBasell has made the final investment decision to build the company's first industrial-scale chemical recycling plant at its Wesselining site in Germany. The project was first announced in October last year, when the Dutch chemical company and Germany-based 23 Oaks Investments established a joint venture company called Source One Plastics.
The facility is expected to have an annual capacity of 50,000 tonnes and is designed to recycle the amount of plastic packaging waste generated by over 1.2 million German citizens per year. Construction is planned to be completed by the end of 2025.
LyondellBasell says the new plant will be the first commercial scale, single-train advanced recycling plant to convert post-consumer plastic waste into feedstock for production of new plastic materials that can be ran at net zero greenhouse gas emissions. It will use the company’s proprietary MoReTec technology which produces pyrolysis oil and pyrolysis gas. Unlike most pyrolysis processes, MoReTec technology enables the pyrolysis gas to be recovered rather than consumed as fuel, increasing the yield of the pyrolysis process and displacing fossil-based feedstocks, which lowers direct CO2 emissions.
In addition, LyondellBasell’s proprietary catalyst technology lowers the process temperature and reduces energy. With lower energy consumption, the process can be powered by electricity, including electricity from renewable sources.
"We are committed to addressing the global challenge of plastic waste and advancing a circular economy, and today's announcement is another meaningful step in that direction," said Peter Vanacker, LyondellBasell’s CEO. "Scaling up our catalytic advanced recycling technology will allow us to return larger volumes of plastic waste back into the value chain. By doing this, we will have the ability to produce more materials for high-quality applications, retaining value of plastics for as long as possible."
Source One Plastics will source and process mixed plastics and flexible materials as feedstock to the Wesseling-based chemical recycling plant. The recycled material will then be used for the production of polymers sold by LyondellBasell under the CirculenRevive product line for use in a wide range of applications, including medical and food packaging.