MOSCOW (MRC) -- Proceeding on the target of commercializing chemical recycling of waste plastic, Neste is conducting a feasibility study to examine investing in capacity for processing liquefied waste plastic at its refinery in Porvoo, Finland, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.
The goal is to scale up processing capabilities for liquefied waste plastic by implementing proprietary technologies to pretreat and upgrade liquefied waste plastic and integrating the technologies into the refinery operations. The targeted pretreatment and upgrading capacity of this first step is 400,000 tpy. This development would be a major step towards Neste’s target to process over 1 MMtpy of waste plastic from 2030 onwards.
To produce drop-in petrochemical feeds from liquefied waste plastic (e.g. pyrolysis oil), intermediate refining is needed to remove detrimental impurities as well as optimize the chemical composition of the material.
“To turn chemical recycling into a viable and industrial-scale feed source for our downstream partners in the polymers and chemicals value chain, we have to bridge the quality gap between unprocessed liquefied waste plastic oil and our customers’ raw material requirements,” said Mercedes Alonso, Executive Vice President, Renewable Polymers and Chemicals at Neste. “We are a forerunner in refining liquefied waste plastic into drop-in petrochemical feeds. By scaling up our processing capabilities, we enhance our ability to process hard-to-recycle waste plastics and help enable our value chain partners to deliver substantial volumes of high-quality materials from recycled feedstock.”
In 2021, as MRC reported earlier, Neste successfully concluded the first series of trial runs processing liquefied waste plastic in its Porvoo refinery. Additional trial runs with larger volumes will continue in the course of 2022. While unprocessed liquefied waste plastic is usable for trial-scale runs, continuous processing at industrial scale will require the pretreatment and upgrading step to remove impurities and unwanted components.
“We are excited to continue to develop liquid waste plastic processing capabilities at our Porvoo refinery. The goal is to turn waste plastics into valuable resources and a sustainable replacement for crude oil. The planned new pretreatment and upgrading capabilities are part of our target to be the most sustainable refinery in Europe by 2030, while supporting the transition to circular polymers,” said Markku Korvenranta, Executive Vice President, Oil Products at Neste.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,487,450 tonnes in 2021, up by 13% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 1,494.280 tonnes, up by 21% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whreas shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.
Neste (Helsinki) creates solutions for combating climate change and accelerating a shift to a circular economy. The company refines waste, residues and innovative raw materials into renewable fuels and sustainable feedstock for plastics and other materials. The company is the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, developing chemical recycling to combat the plastic waste challenge. In 2020, Neste's revenue stood at EUR11.8 billion, with 94% of the company’s comparable operating profit coming from renewable products.