BASF says it has signed an uptake supply agreement with New Energy (Budapest, Hungary), a technology company specialized in the pyrolysis of waste tires.
According to the agreement, New Energy will supply BASF with up to 4,000 metric tons/year of pyrolysis oil derived from waste tires. In a pilot phase, initial volumes of the pyrolysis oil have been utilized successfully at BASF’s Ludwigshafen, Germany, complex, the company says.
The agreement forms part of BASF’s ChemCyclingTM project, which was started in 2018 and focuses on chemically reprocessing post-consumer plastic waste on an industrial scale. The first commercial products from the scheme have reached the market this year, BASF says. The focus of the project remains the use of mixed plastic waste, which would otherwise end up in landfill or incineration. BASF also sees an opportunity to increase recycling rates for end-of-life tires. It notes that waste tires fall within the established definition of post-consumer plastic waste.
“So far, there was no technology that allowed the recycling of pyrolysis oil from tires into high-value applications. By further broadening our raw material base to waste tires, we can create a new circular value stream. Moreover, we establish a second recycled feedstock in our ChemCycling project with which we can manufacture high-performance products for our customers’ demanding applications,” says Christian Lach, project leader/ChemCycling at BASF.
BASF and New Energy have also signed an agreement for a feasibility study that targets the adaption of New Energy’s proprietary pyrolysis technology to the conversion of other plastic waste streams. “The collaboration with New Energy underlines BASF’s ambition to use recycled raw materials in the chemical industry and lead the transition to a circular economy for plastics,” says Lach.
“We spent almost a decade to develop and optimize our technology and are now successfully operating an industrial-scale plant which turns waste tires into secondary raw materials,” says Viktor Varadi, CEO of New Energy. “This puts us at the forefront when it comes to establishing a circular economy for tires.”
BASF feeds the pyrolysis oil supplied by New Energy into its Ludwigshafen site, replacing fossil resources. The share of recycled raw material is allocated to certain products manufactured at the Ludwigshafen complex by using a third-party-audited mass balance approach, BASF says. The products which carry the name suffix CcycledTM have the exact same properties as those manufactured from fossil feedstock, it says.
By: Ian Young
Source: Chemical Week
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