INEOS Styrolution: Breakthrough in chemical recycling of polystyrene
INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, announces today that it completed the first successful test runs producing virgin polystyrene from previously depolymerised material. These experiments, completed at the company’s Antwerp site in Belgium, can be seen as the practical proof of the recyclability of polystyrene.
A lab-scale quantity of general purpose polystyrene produced from 100% recycled styrene monomer by INEOS Styrolution in Antwerp signals a game changer in polystyrene production. The material is the result of experimental polystyrene production runs with styrene monomer feedstock produced from depolymerisation of styrenic plastic. The tests – done in cooperation with commercial partners and universities – resulted in the production of virgin material with the same product properties as polystyrene produced from new styrene monomers.
“We are very excited having achieved this breakthrough,” comments Michiel Verswyvel, Global R&D Expert. “Due to its relatively clean decomposition into its building blocks, polystyrene is almost designed to be recycled. Within our global project team we are working to make this a stable process on a commercial level, by learning for example more about purity requirements of the feedstock material,” he adds.
“It is great to see that specialists from all regions contribute expertise to this project,” adds Alexander Glück, President Americas. “This global collaboration shows INEOS Styrolution’s strong commitment to chemical recycling and sustainability.”
Rob Buntinx, President EMEA, summarises: “I am convinced that we have achieved a significant milestone in proving that polystyrene is recyclable and contributes to reducing post-consumer waste. We are now looking forward to scaling the process to an industrial level and saving valuable resources.”
Today’s announcement is part of INEOS Styrolution’s ambitious efforts aiming at circularity for styrenics to save valuable resources, recycle styrenic waste and reduce the ecological footprint.
The company’s efforts include research projects, as well as collaboration through the value chain and partnerships with customers.
Together with leading collaboration partners worldwide, INEOS Styrolution creates and invests into recycling concepts for a wide range of styrenic products, like e.g. chemical recycling of polystyrene, taking advantage of the unique properties of the polymer.
Saving valuable resources
INEOS Styrolution is committed to saving our planet’s resources. Our contributions include developing specialty materials (e.g. ABS or composites, allowing a reduction in weight for lower fuel consumption and lower emissions) as well as various research projects exploring new innovative materials.
Reducing environmental footprint
INEOS Styrolution is committed to resource-efficient operations with a strong track record reducing greenhouse gas emissions, SOx and dust emissions. For our customers we develop material solutions giving them alternatives to existing non-sustainable solutions. INEOS Styrolution is considered a best-in-class company, being awarded an Ecovadis gold rating, based on the company’s sustainability programme and sustainability report, scoring among the top 1% of companies.
ABOUT INEOS STYROLUTION
INEOS Styrolution is the leading, global styrenics supplier with a focus on styrene monomer, polystyrene, ABS Standard and styrenic specialties. With world-class production facilities and more than 85 years of experience, INEOS Styrolution helps its customers succeed by offering the best possible solution, designed to give them a competitive edge in their markets. The company provides styrenic applications for many everyday products across a broad range of industries, including Automotive, Electronics, Household, Construction, Healthcare, Packaging and Toys/ Sports/ Leisure. In 2018, sales were at 5.4 billion euros. INEOS Styrolution employs approximately 3,500 people and operates 20 production sites in ten countries.
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