First advanced polystyrene recycling plant in Europe announced

INEOS Styrolution has announced that it will be investing into a pilot scheme for the advanced recycling of polystyrene.

Located in Swindon, the plant is expected to be operational by the end of 2022 and will be established in partnership with Recycling Technologies. The facility will make use of depolymerisation technology, which recasts polystyrene waste feedstock into its constituent compound, styrene. This building block will then be restructured to manufacture new polystyrene which, according to INEOS Styrolution, possesses ‘identical properties to the virgin material’.

PolystyreneDue to the use of this monomer recycling process, there is no need for the polystyrene feedstock to be downcycled. Depolymerisation is also in possession of lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emission rates in comparison to those recorded in the production of virgin polystyrene from naphtha, INEOS Styrolution states.

Using fluidised bed reactor infrastructure supplied by Recycling Technologies, the pilot scheme has ‘excellent scalability’, INEOS Styrolution asserts, with similar facilities accessible across larger reprocessing centres.

Dr. Alexander Glück, President EMEA at INEOS Styrolution, commented: “I am excited to see this project move ahead. With Recycling Technologies, we have found a partner, who is not only offering a very attractive technology, but who is also sharing our own vision to avoid polystyrene ending up in landfills or being incinerated. We are on the right path to make polystyrene a circular material.”

Adrian Griffiths, CEO and Founder of Recycling Technologies, added: “We welcome INEOS Styrolution’s decision and are pleased to be a critical element of the team to build Europe’s first advanced chemical polystyrene recycling facility. Harnessing our fluidised bed engineering technology and expertise to recycle polystyrene is a critical step to making polystyrene circular.”