ExxonMobil plans “large” advanced recycling facility

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ExxonMobil Corp. announced on Oct. 11 that it plans to build its first large-scale advanced recycling facility, due to begin operations at its Baytown, Texas complex in late 2022.

The company is based in Irving, Texas called The facility would use their proprietary technology and have an initial capacity to recycle 30,000 tons, or 66 million pounds of plastic waste per year.

The chemical company also announced that it has plans for more advanced recycling facilities around the world with an annual capacity of 500,000 tons, or 1.1 billion pounds, by 2026.

That new £ 1.1 billion in recycling capacity, however, would be dwarfed by some of the company’s recent additions to virgin resin production in the United States

In July, for example, the company announced that its new joint venture facility near Corpus Christi, Texas, could begin production later this year with two polyethylene resin units with an annual capacity of nearly £ 3 billion.

In Baytown, the company said the trial run had proven the viability of its recycling technology. A smaller, temporary facility is already producing commercial quantities of recycled resins that are expected to be marketed by the end of the year.

“We have demonstrated our proprietary advanced recycling technology in Baytown and are expanding to deliver certified circular polymers by year-end,” said Karen McKee, President of ExxonMobil Chemical Co. “The availability of reliable advanced recycling capacity will play an important role in the fight against plastic waste in the environment, and we are evaluating large-scale deployment in other locations around the world. “

The Baytown facility will be “one of the largest recycling plants for plastic waste in North America” ​​and the future expansion of this facility will result in a more favorable regulatory and political environment.

“Operational capacity could expand rapidly if effective policies and regulations are put in place that recognize the benefits of advanced life cycle recycling for plastic waste collection and sorting systems in residential buildings and industry,” the company said.

Rules for advanced or chemical recycling, as it is also known, are an important part of lobbying plastics industry groups in Washington and state capitals, although environmental groups are skeptical of the technology. The Environmental Protection Agency opened regulation of the technology last month.

In general, advanced recycling uses various processes to break down polymers into their basic components in order to reassemble them into new plastic, as opposed to mechanical recycling technologies such as milling and repelletizing that have traditionally been used.

ExxonMobil’s plans to build approximately £ 1.1 billion of advanced recycling capacity worldwide over the next five years include a collaboration with Plastic Energy for a facility in France that will have a capacity of £ 55 million when commissioned in 2023.

ExxonMobil is currently exploring additional potential locations in the Netherlands, the US Gulf Coast, Canada and Singapore.

The company said it has received certifications for its recycled polymers through the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification Plus system, which uses mass balance methods.

It also referred to a joint venture it had with Agilyx Corp. to develop methods of aggregating and preprocessing large amounts of plastic waste and said it is a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste.

The recycling expansions highlighted in the October 11th statement are much smaller than ExxonMobil’s recently announced investments in US virgin plastic capabilities.

In addition to the new facility near Corpus Christi, the company added more than £ 3 billion of new polyethylene capacity between 2017 and 2019, primarily at its new facility in Mont Belvieu, Texas, with plans to add an additional £ 1 billion in 2019 Polypropylene capacity in Louisiana.


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