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LyondellBasell advances chemical recycling with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

LyondellBasell  announced the cooperation with Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) to advance the chemical recycling of plastic materials and assist the global efforts towards the circular economy and plastic waste recycling needs. The focus of the venture is to develop a new catalyst and process technology to decompose post-consumer plastic waste, such as packaging into monomers for reuse in polymerization processes.

"Earlier this year we announced a 50 percent share in Quality Circular Polymers (QCP) to drive the development of high quality recycled polyolefins from the mechanical recycling of sorted post-consumer waste streams," said Bob Patel, Chief Executive Officer of LyondellBasell. "This new cooperation will be a major step towards chemical recycling and extend our contribution to the circular economy."

Chemical recycling is complementary to mechanical recycling and is able to manage multilayer and hybrid plastic materials, which can't be easily recovered by mechanical recycling. Molecular recycling is advancing chemical recycling by improving current process technologies to produce clean feedstock for polymer production.

"We are complementing our leading competencies in catalyst and process technologies in cooperation with KIT, to create a new and complete plastic waste molecular recycling process," said Massimo Covezzi, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at LyondellBasell. "The goal is to develop a high efficiency and clean plastic depolymerization process, through catalyst innovation, to transform plastic waste back to the chemical building blocks.

KIT contributes innovative technologies developed for the thermal conversion of complex organic feedstock. "By introducing LyondellBasell's advanced catalysts our processes will greatly improve depolymerization efficiency for polyolefin waste," said Hans Leibold from KIT´s Institute for Technical Chemistry.

About LyondellBasellLyondellBasell (NYSE: LYB) is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. Driven by its 13,400 employees around the globe, LyondellBasell produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges like enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes. LyondellBasell sells products into approximately 100 countries and is the world's largest licensor of polyolefin technologies. 

About Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)Being "The Research University in the Helmholtz Association", KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility and information. For this, about 9,300 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 25,500 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs.

Publication date: 14/08/2018

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This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2019-09-18