Looking for advancing plastics circularity with chemical recycling

There is an interesting project starting in Stenungsund, in Sweden. The company Borealis has commenced a new project to secure an increased supply of chemically recycled feedstock for the production of more circular base chemicals and polyolefin-based products. A feasibility study for a chemical recycling unit to be established at the Borealis production location is underway. Funded in part by a grant awarded by the Swedish Energy Agency. Provided a successful feasibility study and final investment decision, operations are expected to begin in 2024. The study is being carried out with project partner Stena Recycling.

Borealis will also co-operate independently with Fortum Recycling and Waste on a project involving the sourcing of plastic waste to the chemical recycling unit. Fortum will apply for public funding for a feasibility study to this end. The study would define the technical requirements for the pre-treatment of plastics, quality control, and the sourcing of suitable materials.

“Fortum is driving the transformation to a low-emissions energy system and optimal resource efficiency. Key parts of that development is creation of CO2 neutral feedstock where harmful substances are removed. Cooperation with industrial partners is core in Fortum´s strategy and working model” says Christian Helgesson, CEO, Fortum Recycling and Waste. “Working with like-minded partners such as Borealis is the best way to accelerate the change. We are convinced that smart and collaborative solutions will improve resource efficiency.”

Read more in the press release of April 15th.

Fortum Recycling and Waste is currently recycling plastics with a mechanical processing in Riihimäki plastics refinery in Finland. The plastics refinery is currently the only refinery recycling post- consumer plastic waste in Finland. However, the mechanical recycling process works best for fairly pure and relatively simple materials, which sets limits for the technology. In order to achieve a circular economy and a better recycling rate, Fortum is also looking into new technologies beyond the mechanical recycling.