PET Monomer Recycling SIG Primary Members
About the members
bp's experience with purified terephthalic acid (PTA) used in the polyester industry dates back to 1956 when heritage company Amoco acquired the mid-century technology. In the early 1960s, Amoco invented the purification process and filed key patents and, over the past five decades, bp has built and operated PTA units globally and has continued to improve its manufacturing process, which is now substantially more energy efficient, uses less water and produces less solid waste.
bp’s ever-evolving expertise and know-how related to Aromatics technologies, has enabled the company to design and commission some of the world’s largest PX and PTA plants and has been the backbone in the development of bp Infinia, the company’s enhanced recycling technology.
Infinia technology involves chemically converting complex PET plastic waste, that may not otherwise be recycled through conventional recycling operations, back to original monomer feedstocks through a depolymerization process. Infinia technology aims to purify these building block monomers into recycled purified terephthalic acid (rPTA) and recycled monoethylene glycol (rMEG) which would then be interchangeable with those produced from traditional hydrocarbon feedstocks. They would then be used to manufacture high-performance polyester for packaging, clothing and industrial fibre products and applications.
Stuart Anderson, Head of bp Infinia, said: ‘bp is committed to fully developing and commercialising our Infinia technology. We have long experience and a proven track record of scaling technology and we firmly believe that this innovation can ultimately contribute to making all types of polyester waste infinitely recyclable and take us a step closer to a circular economy for plastics. But we know that we cannot create circularity on our own and that’s why we’re excited to join the Petcore Europe Special Industry Group as we believe that together we can make a positive difference.”
CARBIOS develops an industrial solution based on the use of highly specific enzymes that fully breaks down post-consumer PET plastics & textiles into their original building blocks (monomers), which can be used to produce new virgin quality plastics, such as bottles and packaging or textiles. Based on circular economy principles, this sustainable approach brings a game-changing answer to preserve the environment and fulfill global brands and consumers demand for sustainable solutions.
Martin Stephan, Deputy CEO: “Developing upcycling and circularity in the treatment of waste plastics can lead to highly positive systemic changes for our society and the environment. By joining forces in Petcore Europe’s SIG Group along with other promising projects, we believe that it’s the best way to accelerate this essential move towards a more sustainable world for all of us and future generation.”
Cumapol provides different services and recycling solutions for post-consumer and post-industrial polyesters. Our services contain: Regranulation, Compounding, Crystallization and Solid State Polymerization, we can process both virgin and recycled polyesters. With the start of our CuRe Polyester Rejuvenation Technology project and our ability to use bio-based monomers we are heading for the next level in circularity.”
Marco Brons, Technical director of Cumapol: “We are very pleased to see that besides Cumapol other companies are investing in the future of polyester upcycling. This will allow us to reduce the polyester waste mountain even more than today possible."
Dupont Teijin Films have consistently driven innovation in the polyester industry from the initial invention and development of the polymer in the 1940s through to their current position as the world’s largest supplier of heat sealable BOPET films driving the move to recyclable mono PET tray and lid structures. With the launch of the new LuxCR™ process, DuPont Teijin Films are addressing some of the limitations of mechanically recycled PET by depolymerising the material back into the monomer unit bis(2-hydroxyethylterephthalate) or BHET before converting into a wide range of BOPET films covering applications as diverse as food packaging, labels, solar panel back sheets, ID cards and more.
The upcycling of mechanically recovered PET marks an important step forward in the drive towards a more sustainable future for the packaging industry where depolymerisation is used to restore the material properties to ensure plastic to plastic recycling, providing a balance between the amount of waste material generated and the amount of high value end use applications that it can be recycled into. Steven Davies, Market Manager EMEA Packaging: "We are very proud to be founding members of the Monomer Recycling SIG and we believe the LuxCR™ process launch marks an important milestone in the future of monomer recycling which can be used as a case study in the upcycling of recycled PET, ultimately opening up new waste streams and high value end markets for recycled polyester."
Eastman’s innovation-driven growth strategy, underpinned by creating value through sustainability and a commitment to enhancing the quality of life in a material way, is driving the company’s efforts to advance the circular economy by finding new uses for products or materials otherwise reaching end of life.
The company announced plans to launch an advanced circular recycling technology using the process of methanolysis to break down polyester waste that cannot be recycled by current mechanical methods into basic polymer building blocks that can be reintroduced as new polyester-based polymers, delivering a true circular solution.
Eastman also introduced a second innovation called carbon renewal technology, which is capable of recycling some of the most complex plastic waste, including non-polyester plastics and mixed plastics that cannot be recycled with conventional recycling technologies. With this new recycling technology, materials such as flexible packaging and plastic films, among others, can be diverted from landfills.
Board Chair and CEO Mark Costa said, “Eastman has the technology, the innovation power and the people to make a difference. Eastman is now uniquely positioned to deliver two powerful innovation solutions that target different plastic waste streams that pose complex challenges. Plastics are used in so many important ways. But because some don’t have good end-of-life solutions or are discarded, the world is facing a problem of significant magnitude.”
“Eastman is embracing its stated purpose of enhancing the quality of life in a material way for people around the world,” Costa added. “This translates not only to producing superior materials for the products consumers use daily, but also contributes in a meaningful way to a circular economy – an economy where we reuse and repurpose our resources, so they retain their value for as long as possible.”
Equipolymers is a company dedicated to the manufacture and marketing of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). It is a wholly owned subsidiary of EQUATE Petrochemical Company (EQUATE), a global producer of petrochemicals and the world’s second largest producer of ethylene glycol (EG).
Dirk Koehlmann, Lead Account Manager: “With its Viridis 25, Equipolymers is launching a new food-contact PET grade using up to 25 % chemically recycled PET as feedstock, which reduces the need for virgin PET with benefits for business, the environment and the community. This advancement from EQP takes the world closer to closing the loop in the circular economy, helping brand owners to meet the guidelines of the European Plastic Strategy while driving an increase in plastics recycling.”
Garbo in collaboration with the University of Modena and Bologna, has developed an innovative “chemical recycling” process, called ChemPET, capable of handling almost all the currently non-recoverable PET based waste. Through a chemical reaction, the PET, present in the pre- and post-consumer waste, is reacted selectively with ethylene glycol and transformed into an intermediate product called BHET (bis-hydroxy-ethylene-terephthalate) which, if adequately purified , can be used again for the production of PET in place of raw materials of fossil origin.
Gr3n SA is a Swiss company established in 2013. The company developed an innovative process, based on a new application of microwave technology to provide an efficient chemical recycling process of PET and polyester textile allowing an industrial implementation of this recycling method. The robustness of the whole process allows to treat highly contaminated materials upcycling the PET recycling. The recycling process of gr3n produces the same monomers used for conventional synthesis of PET exploiting a full integration with the existing value chain of PET. The process is economically competitive with oil-based production of PET but creating a huge benefit for the environment.
IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) is a major player in research and training in the fields of energy, transport and the environment. Technological innovation is at the core of its work, ranging from research to industry. Pivotal to IFPEN's development policy, the IFP Group brings together leading industrial players worldwide and young innovative companies. Axens, one of the IFPEN’s subsidiary, provides a complete range of solutions for the conversion of oil and biomass to cleaner fuels, for the production and purification of major petrochemical intermediates as well as for gas processing and conversion options. Axens covers the entire value chain, from feasibility study to unit start-up and follow-up throughout the entire unit cycle life.
Slavik Kasztelan, Program manager “Biomass to chemicals” and “Petrochemicals” of IFPEN:
"IFP Energies nouvelles and its subsidiary Axens are eager to tackle the challenge of bringing to the market competitive processes for recycling plastics and to produce bio-based polymer precursors and make circular economy a reality. We are therefore glad to join the SIG efforts to accelerate the success of monomer recycling technologies".
Ioniqa Technologies B.V. is a clean-tech spinoff from the Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands), specialized in creating value out of waste by using its proprietary circular technology. With a cost-effective process, Ioniqa is able to close the loop for plastics, starting with PET plastics. This award winning innovation transforms all types and colors of PET waste into valuable sources for ‘virgin-quality’ recycled PET. Up-cycling processes for other types of plastic are being researched and expected to be launched in the near future.
Loop Industries is a technology and licensing company whose mission is to accelerate the world’s shift toward sustainable plastic and away from our dependence on fossil fuels. Loop owns patented and proprietary technology that depolymerizes no and low value waste PET plastic and polyester fiber, including plastic bottles and packaging, carpet and polyester textile of any colour, transparency or condition and even ocean plastics that have been degraded by the sun and salt, to its base building blocks (monomers). The monomers are filtered, purified and repolymerized to create virgin-quality Loop™ branded PET plastic resin and polyester fiber suitable for use in food-grade packaging to be sold to consumer goods companies to help them meet their sustainability objectives. Through our customers and production partners, Loop is leading a global movement toward a circular economy by raising awareness of the importance of preventing and recovering waste plastic from the environment to ensure plastic stays in the economy for a more sustainable future for all.
Poseidon Plastics was created to commercialise proprietary consumer/industrial waste to polyester technology under a joint venture arrangement between Green Lizard Technologies Ltd, Panima Capital, and Abundia Industries LLC. The technology has already been proven and scaled to 1,000 tons per year to produce consumable product grade BHET, the base building block for all grades of polyester. Poseidon Plastics is focused on mixed PET waste streams that are problematic and persistent in the environment and cannot be mechanically recycled. To that end several successful test runs on various types of PET waste streams, including fibres, Jazz (mixed waste), films and bottles were already completed.
RITTEC Umwelttechnik's recycling technology enables the recovery of PET waste into high-quality products at original level, regardless of whether the waste is monolayer or multilayer materials. The recycling technology realizes the complete recycling economy without loss of value and performance by meeting the challenge of a continuous depolymerisation including continuity in the upstream and downstream process. The different technical parameters are observed at every stage of the process to achieve the desired quality of recycling and to manage efficiency. The vision is that RITTEC’s technology will make a decisive contribution to solving global challenges with PET packaging. Carsten Eichert, Managing Director: "Continuity will open new perspectives in terms of competitiveness for the recycling of plastics. Joined forces in Petcore Europe’s SIG group with alike projects open opportunities to find synergies to accelerate time to market of the innovative technologies. This supports the SIG member’s and society’s goal of true circularity in plastic recycling".