INEOS and Plastic Energy have signed a memorandum of understanding for a 100,000 t/y facility in Köln, Germany, to turn difficult-to-recycle plastic waste into virgin-quality raw materials. The plant will represent the largest use of Plastic Energy’s technology on the market.
Plastic Energy’s patented Thermal Anaerobic Conversion (TAC) technology converts plastic waste into TACOIL, which can be used to produce virgin-quality recycled plastic or alternative low-carbon fuels. The process removes contaminants such as metals and produces plastics that meet the high standards required for food and medical applications.
Ineos will also invest in technology to process TACOIL further, before feeding it into its steam crackers, replacing traditional raw materials derived from oil.
In 2020, Ineos and Plastic Energy announced they would collaborate to explore constructing a commercial-scale recycling plant using TAC technology. Initially, the partners planned a 30,000 t/y recycling facility, targeting operationality by 2023. Instead, the partners now plan the 100,000 t/y facility to be operational by 2026.
The partners announced previously that TACOIL had been successfully converted into virgin-quality polymer using Ineos’ cracker in Köln, Germany. Announcing the expanded plans, they added that selected partners and brands had used the recycled product, demonstrating viability and demand for materials from advanced recycling.
Rob Ingram, CEO of Ineos Olefins and Polymers Europe North, said: “Advanced recycling is an essential part of the solution for turning plastic waste into materials that can be used for demanding applications. Our position is that advanced recycling has to be done at scale in order to make the process environmentally and commercially viable. I’m therefore delighted to take this first step with Plastic Energy towards building that kind of capability from day one.”
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