Tuesday, November 2, 2021

New Technology Intended to Revolutionise Recycling of Plastics and Polystyrene

Joint Venture to Initially Set Up Spanish Base
Shipping News Feature

US – UK – SPAIN – With all eyes on Glasgow this week as COP26 gets going Honeywell has announced the commercialisation of a revolutionary process that expands the types of plastics that can be recycled and can produce feedstock used to make recycled plastics with a lower carbon footprint.

Honeywell claims the new technology can reduce the need for fossil fuels in the creation of virgin plastics while enabling hundreds of cycles of recycling, with the goal of enabling a circular economy for plastics. The UpCycle Process technology expands the types of plastics that can be recycled to include waste plastic that would otherwise go unrecycled, including coloured, flexible, multi-layered packaging and polystyrene.

Honeywell’s UpCycle Process Technology utilises industry-leading molecular conversion, pyrolysis, and contaminants management technology to convert waste plastic back to Honeywell Recycled Polymer Feedstock, which is then used to create new plastics. When used in conjunction with other chemical and mechanical recycling processes, along with improvements to collection and sorting, the UpCycle Process Technology claims the potential to increase the amount of global plastic waste that can be recycled to 90%.

Recycled plastics produced via UpCycle Process Technology can result in a 57% reduction of CO2 emissions compared with the production of the same amount of virgin plastic from fossil feeds. The process also reduces CO2 emissions by 77% compared with conventional modes of handling waste plastic, such as incineration and landfilling.

These CO2 reductions are some of the largest improvements among all pyrolysis technology offerings prompting Vimal Kapur, president and chief executive officer of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies, to say:

“Plastics play an important role in our society, including expanding the shelf life of food and making vehicles lighter, which reduces their emissions. Unfortunately, only a fraction of plastics today can be successfully recycled.

“Honeywell’s UpCycle process helps fix this problem. By broadening the types of plastic that can be recycled, UpCycle will revolutionise the plastics economy and play a critical role in improving the sustainability of many of the products we use on a daily basis.”

Sacyr, a Spanish based global engineering and services company with operations in more than 20 countries worldwide, will be the first to deploy Honeywell’s proprietary UpCycle Process Technology. Honeywell and Sacyr will form a joint venture where the two companies will co-own and operate a facility in Andalucía, in Southern Spain, with a capacity to transform 30,000 metric tonnes per year of mixed waste plastics into Honeywell Recycled Polymer Feedstock. Production is expected to begin in 2023.

Partnering with companies that have waste management experience such as Sacyr allows Honeywell to help close the loop within the plastics supply chain by bringing the recycling technology onsite to the collection source. The recycling plants employ a modular design, enabling straightforward deployment and installation, striking the right balance between economy of scale and amount of waste plastic generated locally. Domingo Jiménez, Manager of Sacyr Circular, said:

“Our partnership with Honeywell will enable Sacyr to bring sustainable, circular solutions to market. The speed with which we can start up plants and the global viability of this solution has the potential to greatly accelerate the impact we can have on the communities we serve, the environment, and society as a whole.”