LyondellBasell advances chemical recycling by signing agreement with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

26 July 2018

LyondellBasell  one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies, today announced the cooperation with Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) to advance the chemical recycling of plastic materials and assist the global efforts towards the circular economy and plastic waste recycling needs. The focus of the venture is to develop a new catalyst and process technology to decompose post-consumer plastic waste, such as packaging into monomers for reuse in polymerization processes.

“Earlier this year we announced a 50 percent share in Quality Circular Polymers (QCP) to drive the development of high quality recycled polyolefins from the mechanical recycling of sorted post-consumer waste streams,“ said Bob Patel, Chief Executive Office of LyondellBasell. “This new cooperation will be a major step towards chemical recycling and extend our contribution to the circular economy.”

Chemical recycling is complementary to mechanical recycling and is able to manage multilayer and hybrid plastic materials, which can’t be easily recovered by mechanical recycling. Molecular recycling is advancing chemical recycling by improving current process technologies to produce clean feedstock for polymer production.

“We are complementing our leading competencies in catalyst and process technologies in cooperation with KIT, to create a new and complete plastic waste molecular recycling process,” said Massimo Covezzi, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at LyondellBasell. “The goal is to develop a high efficiency and clean plastic depolymerization process, through catalyst innovation, to transform plastic waste back to the chemical building blocks.

KIT contributes 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.