LyondellBasell today announces it has made a decision to move forward with engineering to build an advanced recycling plant at its Wesseling, Germany, site. Using LyondellBasell’s proprietary MoReTec technology, this commercial scale advanced recycling plant would convert pre-treated plastic waste into feedstock for new plastic production. The final investment decision is targeted for the end of 2023.
The previously announced German Joint Venture Source One Plastics will provide plastic waste feedstock to the plant. Source One Plastics is planning to build a facility designed to recycle the amount of plastic packaging waste generated by approximately 1.3 million German citizens per year. This plastic waste will consist of materials such as multi-layered food packaging items or mixed plastic containers that are typically not recycled today.
“We are actively working to move the circular economy forward. Progressing our MoReTec technology represents another step LyondellBasell is making to accelerate the development and implementation of scalable sustainable and circular technology,” said Yvonne van der Laan, LyondellBasell Executive Vice President, Circular and Low Carbon Solutions. “This high yield, differential technology will allow us to convert plastic waste into pyrolysis oil and pyrolysis gas for use in our crackers as feedstock leading to the production of new plastic materials. Solid process residues can be re-used or consumed in other applications, making this technology an energy efficient, zero waste process for the recycling of plastic waste”.
The start-up of the MoReTec advanced recycling plant is planned for end of 2025 with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes per year. The feedstock produced will be converted at the LyondellBasell Wesseling site into new CirculenRevive polymers for use in applications such as food packaging and healthcare products.
MoReTec – A story of Innovation
In 2018, LyondellBasell began conducting base research in the chemical recycling of plastic waste together with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany, which proved the efficiency of the MoReTec technology at laboratory scale. In October 2019, the company announced the construction of a chemical recycling pilot plant at its Ferrara, Italy, site, which begun operation in August 2020. With the operation of the pilot plant, research work improved the efficiency of the recycling process, identified a commercial catalyst and made further progress in the characterization of the waste feedstock stream. The MoReTec plant capability was further expanded converting the pilot plant to a small scale industrial facility in 2021.
Today, the MoReTec technology allows for the recycling of most types of plastic materials such as multi-layered food packaging items or mixed plastic containers. Polyolefin-based plastic waste is decomposed in a proprietary reactor unit, resulting in high-quality feedstock usable for the production of new plastic materials at the LyondellBasell polymer plants.
As a leader in the global chemical industry, LyondellBasell strives every day to be the safest, best operated and most valued company in our industry. The company’s products, materials and technologies are advancing sustainable solutions for food safety, access to clean water, healthcare and fuel efficiency in more than 100 international markets. LyondellBasell places high priority on diversity, equity and inclusion and is Advancing Good with an emphasis on our planet, the communities where we operate and our future workforce. The company takes great pride in its world-class technology and customer focus. LyondellBasell has stepped up its circularity and climate ambitions and actions to address the global challenges of plastic waste and decarbonization. In 2022, LyondellBasell was named as one of FORTUNE Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” for the fifth consecutive year.