Green Materials: Ineos claims breakthrough in chemical recycling of PS

Green Materials: Ineos claims breakthrough in chemical recycling of PS

In what it says is the company’s efforts to reduce post-consumer styrenic waste, styrenics maker Ineos Styrolution has produced its first production of virgin polystyrene (PS) from only depolymerised material.

Ineos says that a lab-scale quantity of general purpose PS produced from 100% recycled styrene monomer in Antwerp signals a game changer in PS production. The material is the result of experimental PS 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 PS 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.”

The company says that it has achieved a significant milestone in proving that PS is recyclable and contributes to reducing post-consumer waste. It is now looking at scaling the process to an industrial level.

Ineos Styrolution says its ambitious efforts are aimed 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.


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