The U.S. chemical company Eastman has announced plans to invest up to $1 billion in a molecular plastics recycling plant in France. The plant, reportedly the world's largest of its kind, will process about 160,000 tons of hard-to-recycle plastic waste annually. The plastic waste will be broken down into its molecular building blocks using the company's polyester renewal technology, according to Eastman, and then reassembled into usable material with up to 80 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventional processes. The overall project includes equipment to process mixed plastic waste, a methanolysis plant to depolymerize the waste, and production lines for polymers for specialty, packaging and textile applications. By 2025, the company aims to have the entire complex, consisting of a recycling plant and an innovation center for molecular recycling, which is also planned, up and running.
The British chemical recycling specialist Plastic Energy and the French oil company Total Energies also plan to invest further in chemical plastics recycling. The two companies announced the construction of a second chemical recycling plant in addition to one already in operation in Seville, Spain. The new plant is scheduled to come on stream in early 2025 and will process around 33,000 metric tons of plastic waste annually. It will use a patented recycling technology that the company calls "thermal anaerobic conversion" (TAC). Total plans to use the secondary raw material, marketed under the name "Tacoil," for virgin-quality polymers, which will be suitable for use in food packaging.
- Euwid Recycling und Entsorgung 3/2022, Plasticker (Jan. 18, 2022)
- Plasticker (Jan. 13, 2021)
- Photo: @ Eastman