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LyondellBasell announces first advanced recycling plant in Germany

21 Nov '23
3 min read
Pic: LyondellBasell
Pic: LyondellBasell

Insights

  • LyondellBasell will construct its first advanced recycling plant in Germany, using innovative MoReTec technology.
  • Operational by 2025, the plant aims for net zero GHG emissions and a 50,000-tonne capacity.
  • It will process difficult-to-recycle plastics, reducing environmental impact.
  • The facility marks a significant step in sustainable polymer production.
LyondellBasell has announced the final investment decision to construct the company's first industrial-scale catalytic advanced recycling demonstration plant. This facility, located at their Wesseling site in Germany, is set to revolutionise the recycling industry with its innovative MoReTec technology.

The new plant, expected to be operational by the end of 2025, will boast an annual capacity of 50,000 tonnes, recycling the plastic waste equivalent generated by over 1.2 million German citizens each year. This development marks the first commercial-scale, single-train advanced recycling plant capable of converting post-consumer plastic waste into feedstock for new plastic materials. Remarkably, the plant is designed to run at net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the company said in a press release.

A key feature of the LYB MoReTec plant is its ability to process difficult-to-recycle plastics, such as mixed or flexible materials, that are currently directed to landfills or incineration. Source One Plastics, a joint venture formed between LYB and 23 Oaks Investments in October 2022, will provide the majority of the sorted processed feedstock.

The advanced recycled feedstock produced at the MoReTec facility will be used for the production of polymers under LYB's CirculenRevive product line. These polymers have diverse applications, including medical and food packaging, offering an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional materials.

The MoReTec technology differentiates itself by producing both pyrolysis oil and gas. While pyrolysis oil serves as a substitute for fossil-based materials in polymer production, MoReTec's unique capability lies in its ability to also recover pyrolysis gas. This contributes to polymer production and displaces fossil-based feedstocks, significantly lowering direct CO2 emissions.

Furthermore, MoReTec's proprietary catalyst technology enables lower process temperatures, reducing energy consumption and improving yield. This energy-efficient process can be powered by electricity, including renewable sources, aligning with net zero GHG emission goals.

These technological advancements not only enhance the recycling process but also significantly reduce the carbon footprint compared to fossil-based processes. The combination of recovering pyrolysis gas as feedstock, lower energy demand, electrical heating design, displacement of fossil feedstocks, and diverting waste plastic from incineration or landfill, positions MoReTec as a unique and sustainable solution in the recycling industry.

"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 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."

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DP)

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