Plastic Energy and Axens join forces to license circular plastics processes

Article by Adam Duckett

PLASTIC ENERGY has partnered with engineering services firm Axens to license its plastics recycling technology.

Plastic Energy has developed a process it calls Thermal Anaerobic Conversion, which is operating at two plants in Spain. The plants take end-of-life plastics that cannot be recycled and convert them back into a hydrocarbon feedstock called TACOIL, in a bid to close the loop on plastics by using waste to produce new plastics rather than from virgin fossil feedstocks.

The partnership will provide customers with technical and business case studies, basic engineering, technical services, proprietary equipment, complete modular units and support to operations. Axens will also offer its Rewind Mix process, which purifies pyrolysis oils for use in steam crackers to help avoid catalyst deactivation or turndown.

Jean Sentenac, Axens CEO, said: “We are extremely glad to announce our strategic partnership with Plastic Energy, a major milestone in Axens’ ambition to develop and propose an extended portfolio of advanced technologies for the plastic circular economy.”

Carlos Monreal, CEO of Plastic Energy, said: “The operational experience that Plastic Energy has gained over the last 5 years from our current recycling plants in Spain sets us apart in the market and will be invaluable to our new licensing customers. Through this partnership with Axens, we will be able to increase the amount of plastic waste that can be recycled and work towards a more circular economy for plastics.”

The partnership comes alongside a €145m (US$165m) capital investment in Plastic Energy by Axens, LetterOne and M&G. Plastic Energy will use the funds to accelerate growth and expand its technology. It has agreed partnerships with various industry majors – including SABIC, TotalEnergies, ExxonMobil and Nestlé – to build new plants.

Plastic Energy’s process won IChemE’s Outstanding Achievement in Chemical and Process Engineering Award in 2020.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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