Opportunities for Thermochemical recycling of plastic waste

by Gerard van der Laan, Program Manager Circular Plastics, TNO

The presentation of TNO/Brightsite will provide an holistic view of the future plastics. In detail, we will show the current status of thermochemical recycling technologies for plastic waste and new recycling routes like MIlena Thermal Cracking for plastic and mixed waste streams.

program: https://plasticwaste2plasticconference.com/conference/

The Plastic Waste 2 Plastic Conference is all about turning waste plastic via pyrolysis /chemical recycling into new plastics competing with plastics made from virgin fossil oil. This requires that current recycling value chains change to a new sustainable ecosystem. As a result the creation of innovative new ecosystems will be a challenge with so many stakeholders.

The new ecosystems contains the following steps in the materials cycle:

  • End of life Plastic Waste Stream Collection
  • Cleaning, Sorting and Separation
  • Recycling
    • Chemical recycling
    • Thermal and Thermochemical recycling / Pyrolysis
  • Processing of recycled materials (plastics and chemicals)
  • Production of recycled plastic materials
  • Reuse of the newly created plastics in applications
  • End of life plastic waste stream collection

Besides the development of a new ecosystem, additional topics are related and relevant for the success of this new ecosystem:

  • Can chemical recycling become economically viable?
  • Can chemical recycling be cost-competitive with virgin plastic?
  • What is the demand for the chemical recycling outputs of the different recycling processes?
  • What are the real environmental and health impacts of the different recycling processes when operating at scale?
  • How do the Life Cycle Assessments of the different recycle technologies compare
  • What key parameters determine the choice for chemical versus mechanical recycling
  • Can this type of recycling become complementary to the other waste management processes. What needs to happen to make this possible?

TNO is an independent research organisation. We believe in the joint creation of economic and social value. We focus on transitions or changes in nine social themes:

  • Buildings, Infrastructure & Maritime : ‘Robust constructions, sustainable use’
  • The Circular Economy and the Environment: ‘Directing and accelerating sustainability’
  • Defence, Safety and Security: ‘We’re putting our knowledge and technology to work for safety and security’
  • Energy: ‘Faster towards a sustainable energy supply’
  • Healthy living: ‘Focussing on participation, not on the disease’
  • Industry: ‘Innovating for employment, welfare and well-being’
  • Information & Communication Technology: ‘Interpreting and accelerating digital transformation’
  • Strategic Analysis & Policy: ‘Turning complex issues into concrete innovations’
  • Traffic and Transport: ‘Helping to create liveable, sustainable cities’

Innovation with purpose is what TNO stands for. We develop knowledge not for its own sake, but for practical application.

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