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Sharper focus on plastics circularity / Bundling knowhow across the portfolio

Sharper focus on plastics circularity / Bundling knowhow across the portfolioAmong other things, Evonik is working with recyclers to increase both the efficiency and quality of reclaimed waste (Photo: Evonik)German chemicals and plastics producer Evonik (Essen; is honing its global concept for facilitating circularity along the polymer value chain through bundling knowhow across its own business activities. On the chemicals side of its business, it already supplies additives and technologies to make mechanical and chemical recycling of plastics more efficient. In its polymer production activities, the company also plans to increase the use of sustainable raw materials from circular sources in its own processes. Overall, management expects the sharper focus on a circular economy to generate additional sales of more than EUR 350m annually by 2030.
For Evonik, the overriding goal is to leverage its innovative capability to create new material cycles with fewer fossil-based feedstocks and increase the share of circular solutions, says Harald Schwager, deputy chairman of the executive board with responsibility for innovation. Lauren Kjeldsen, who leads the global circular plastics programme, adds that the German company is working closely with partners along the entire polymer value chain to improve circularity of products, for example, helping recyclers boost both the efficiency and quality of their processes.
The ultimate goal is to be able to offer circular solutions for about 400,000 t/y of recyclable plastics by 2025, Evonik says. In an example from its chemicals portfolio, the companyĆ¢??s experts use customised surfactants to ensure that labels can be removed quickly from products without leaving residues. Defoamers from its product slate can simplify washing processes, while its dewatering agents save energy and time in subsequent drying. Speciality additives made in Evonik plants can be used to increase the output of high-quality reusable recyclate by around 5%. A forward-looking goal is to minimise the odour of the recycled plastics.
Another emphasis of the circularity programme is to improve chemical recycling technologies for plastics waste that is unsuitable for mechanical recycling. Evonik is currently developing a process to facilitate recycling of heavily contaminated (PET) waste through methanolysis. In another example of leveraging in-house capability, it can offer state-of-the-art technologies to improve the efficiency of processes such as incinerating plastics waste to produce pyrolysis oil as a feedstock for new polymers. Here, additives, catalysts and membranes for the treatment of gas play an important role.31.03.2021 [247330-0]

Publication date: 31/03/2021


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: 2022-01-31