Decarbonisation Technology - February 2023

increase consistency, and reduce confusion on what can be recycled and how to recycle. Consumer behaviour can include deposit/ refund schemes such as the scheme in Germany. However, it also covers the availability of separate collection schemes (different bins, recycling centres) to encourage the right behaviours. Advanced plastic recycling However, advanced plastic recycling (or chemical recycling) is the solution. The plastic is taken back to the molecule or monomers and so tackles two problems at the same time. It helps to drive down crude oil consumption, and it reduces the problem of waste plastic. Therefore chemical recycling is the only viable recycling option for plastics that currently go to landfill or incineration. An independent study showed that in comparison with incineration for energy, chemical recycling could reduce carbon emissions by 40% (Sphera, 2022). While mechanical recycling will still always have its role, chemical recycling is able to fill the gap for those plastics that cannot be recycled mechanically, such as mixed plastics multi-layered plastics, heavily coloured plastics, and most films and containers used for household chemicals. The pyrolysis process converts the plastic back to pyrolysis oil or recycled polymer feedstock (RPF) (see Figure 2 ). The Honeywell process technology is designed specifically for advanced plastics recycling. As such, the RPF is mixed with naphtha, which then is fed to a naphtha (or steam) cracker that converts the RPF back

to the monomers (ethylene and propylene). This overcomes the need to manage food-contact and non-food-contact plastics, but it also can be used for coloured plastic. Thus this can be used to manufacture virgin-quality plastic and creates a truly circular ecosystem for plastics. Pyrolysis technology is of great interest to all plastic manufacturers who have committed to increasing the content of recycled plastic in their products. More than 80 global Consumer- Packaged-Goods Companies (CPG) packaging and retail companies have made voluntary commitments to reach recycled content in their packaging between 15-50% by 2025 (McKinsey, 2022a). In October 2022, the Consumer Goods Forum “Coalition of Action on Plastic Waste” published a letter in which they signalled a demand for 800,000 tonnes of chemically recycled material by 2030, in addition to their needs for mechanically recycled materials (The Consumer Goods Forum, 2022). Importance of partnerships Earlier in 2022, Honeywell and TotalEnergies signed a non-binding strategic agreement to promote the development of advanced plastic recycling (TotalEnergies, 2022). This will help TotalEnergies meet its goal of producing 30% recycled and renewable polymers by 2030. Honeywell will supply TotalEnergies with Recycled Polymer Feedstock using Honeywell’s UpCycle process technology (see Figure 3 ). Separately, Honeywell and Sacyr have proposed a joint venture to build a new advanced recycling plant in Andalucia, Spain. The plant will convert 30,000 tonnes of

H oneywell U p C ycle

Mixed plastics waste

Recycled polymer feedstock

Otake & transport

Post-consumer resin

Recycled plastic products

Upgrading & polymerisation

36–43 kmta waste plastic at a 70%–80% yield 30 kmta into pyrolysis process Target mixed rigid or lm plastic bales for pyrolysis feed

Stable transportable recycled polymer feed (RPF)

Post-consumer resins (PCR) produced from polymer oil

Enables post- consumer resin

content in packaging

Figure 2 Honeywell’s UpCycle process technology uses pyrolysis technology to convert waste plastic back to RPF, which is then used to create new plastics


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