Neste Completes Industrial Scale Trial Runs With Liquefied Plastic Waste

Jan. 17, 2022
In the course of the trial runs, Neste is able to upgrade liquefied waste plastic to drop-in solutions for plastic production and develop industrial scale capabilities to upgrade recycled feedstocks.

Neste says it has successfully concluded its first series of trial runs processing liquefied waste plastic at its Porvoo refinery in Finland. After kicking the series off with its first-ever industrial scale trial run with 400 tons of liquefied waste plastic in 2020, Neste conducted additional runs in 2021. In the course of the trial runs, Neste says it was able to upgrade liquefied waste plastic to drop-in solutions for plastic production and develop industrial scale capabilities to upgrade recycled feedstocks.

Neste set a goal of processing more than one million tons of plastic waste per year from 2030 on. To achieve this goal, the company says it is advancing chemical recycling to turn plastic waste into a valuable raw material. In 2021, additional trials were conducted to gain insights into the processing of liquefied waste plastic, including the impact on refinery operations.

“There is strong interest in feedstocks from recycled raw materials in the polymers and chemicals market,” says Mercedes Alonso, executive vice president, renewable polymers and chemicals at Neste. “By processing liquefied waste plastic and upgrading waste into valuable resources, we thereby not only contribute to combating the plastic pollution challenge, but we also provide chemical and polymer companies with the means to advance the circular economy. To do so at a larger scale going forward, we’ll also require regulatory support. On the one hand, this includes the acceptance of chemical recycling as a complementary technology to achieve ambitious recycling targets. On the other hand, we need similarly ambitious targets for increasing the use of more sustainable materials.”

The trial runs already reflect a value chain that can contribute to processing larger volumes of plastic waste in due course, according to Neste. The plastic waste used for the trial runs comprised only mixed post-consumer waste that is otherwise hard to recycle.

The 800 tons of waste plastic that have been processed equal the amount a small city in the EU generates in a year, according to Neste. The output from the trial runs is reportedly already finding its way into the polymers cycle as feedstock for new polymer products with the same properties and the same quality as those based on fossil feedstock, making the feedstock suitable even for food packaging or healthcare applications.

For more information, visit: www.neste.com

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