Ineos Pursues Chemical Recycling With Plastic Energy

28.04.2020 - Ineos has joined forces with Plastic Energy to help promote and employ chemical recycling.

Together the two companies plan to build a new 30,000 t/y plant to convert waste plastics into feedstock for new polymer.

Production is targeted to begin at the end of 2023. Ineos has not yet announced a location for the plant, but it is thought likely to be close to one of its crackers.

First trials at the group’s cracker at Cologne, Germany, have already been completed, with output to be used initially by selected companies to test the quality and demonstrate the benefits of the process.

Plastic Energy’s patented technology called Thermal Anaerobic Conversion (TAC) transforms previously unrecyclable plastic waste into new polymer suitable for use as a product called Tacoil. In the process, plastics waste is melted in an oxygen-free environment and subsequently broken down into synthetic oils that can be refined and upgraded as starting materials for traditional petrochemical applications.

Ineos said the renewed plastic that emerges from recycling will be suitable for manufacturing medical products, food packaging, lightweight automotive parts and pipes for water transportation. The advanced recycling technology makes it possible to produce final product with an identical specification to virgin material, the Swiss-based olefins and polyolefins group said.

Rob Ingram, CEO of Ineos Olefins & Polymers Europe, commented that converting plastic waste back to virgin plastic will create a truly circular economy solution, which will help its customers to meet their pledges and commitments in this area.

Carlos Monreal, founder and CEO of the UK-based independent company with a large European presence, said Plastic Energy will work jointly with Ineos to bring this new solution onto the market and respond to the growing demand for high quality recycled content and the growing imperative to increase recycling rates and move towards a circular future for plastics.

The chemical recycling specialist said earlier that in planned to start up its first commercial facility to refine and upgrade Tacoil in the Netherlands in 2021. Last year, Saudi Arabian petrochemicals giant SABIC announced it had signed an agreement with Plastics Energy to use Tacoil as a feedstock for its PE and PP production facilities at Geleen in the Netherlands.