Topsoe and Dow Partner on Chemical Recycling

15.10.2021 - Haldor Topsoe is partnering Dow to accelerate development of chemical recycling technology that converts hard-to-recycle waste plastics into pyrolysis oil feedstock. The Danish group will support the design and engineering of a 10,000 t/y market-development, or pilot, unit to be built at Dow’s site in Terneuzen, the Netherlands.

The plant will be based on Topsoe’s PureStep pyrolysis oil purification technology, which removes impurities from liquefied feedstock so that low-grade mixed plastic waste, such as tires and products containing PVC, can be used to create new plastics, in Dow’s case a new circular PE grade.

“Advancing the circular economy for plastics requires scale for feedstock recycling and clean-up that does not yet exist broadly, so we are partnering to help accelerate it,” said Diego Donoso, president of Dow’s Packaging and Specialty Plastics business. Leveraging Haldor Topsoe’s technology and expertise will help the US group to de-risk scale-up of purification capabilities aligned with its Stop the Waste and Close the Loop efforts, he said.

The collaboration complements to several other initiatives that Dow announced during its Investor Day event on Oct. 6 as the US group advances efforts to prevent plastic waste, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide recycled plastic products to its customers. Dow has said it expects to supply initial volumes of “fully circular” polymers starting in 2022.

Sustainable methanol project in Denmark

In separate news, Haldor Topsoe is leading a project in Denmark to demonstrate its electrified steam methane reforming technology – eSMR – for producing sustainable methanol. A demonstration plant will be built at partner Aarhus University’s research facility in Foulum, Denmark, with full operations scheduled to start by the beginning of 2022. Annual capacity will be 10,000 liters of CO2-neutral methanol from biogas and green power.

Kim Gron Knudsen, Topsoe’s chief strategy and innovation officer, said the unit will show that sustainable methanol can be produced from biogas at a very competitive cost compared to other green methanol produced from non-fossil fuels.

Thomas Lundgaard, project manager at Aarhus University’s department of biological and chemical engineering, said: “We see many interesting perspectives in this new technology, and we look forward to unlock the potential of further development and integration of the technology in the energy system of the future.” As well as sustainable methanol, eSMR technology can be used to produce other sustainable products such as green hydrogen, green ammonia, efuels and more.

The other partners in the project are Sintex, Blue World Technology, Technical University of Denmark, Energinet, Aalborg University and PlanEnergi.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist