LyondellBasell and KIT enter chemical recycling cooperation

LyondellBasell's site in Wesseling, Germany
Site in Wesseling, Germany; photo: LyondellBasell
27.07.2018 − 

The chemicals concern LyondellBasell has announced that it will cooperate with Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) to advance the chemical recycling of plastic materials. They will work together to develop "a high-efficiency and clean plastic depolymerization process, through catalyst innovation, to transform plastic waste back to the chemical building blocks”, according to a joint announcement issued on 26 July.

The new cooperation is to focus on the development of a new catalyst and process technology to decompose post-consumer plastic waste such as packaging into monomers for reuse in polymerization processes. "This new cooperation will be a major step towards chemical recycling and extend our contribution to the circular economy,” said Bob Patel, CEO of LyondellBasell. The concern, one of the world's largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies, is already active in the recycling sector through its 50 per cent stake in the Dutch company QCP (Quality Circular Polymers), which recycles sorted post-consumer plastic waste.

Together with KIT, LyondellBasell would work "to create a new and complete plastic waste molecular recycling process,” said Massimo Covezzi, the plastics concern's senior vice president of research and development. The KIT research institution in Karlsruhe, Germany would contribute innovative technologies developed for the thermal conversion of complex organic feedstock. "By introducing LyondellBasell’s advanced catalysts our processes will greatly improve depolymerization efficiency for polyolefin waste,” said Hans Leibold from KIT's Institute for Technical Chemistry.

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