MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow, the world's leading materials science company, and Mura Technology, the global pioneer of an advanced plastic recycling solution, announce the next step in their ongoing collaboration to help solve the global plastics waste issue and advance circularity, said the company.
Mura plans to construct a new facility at Dow's Bohlen site in Germany – the latest in a series of planned facilities across the U.S. and Europe to rapidly scale advanced recycling of plastics – and the first expected to be based at a Dow site. This project is targeted for a final investment decision by the end of 2023.
Mura's new Bohlen facility in Germany, which is expected to be operational by 2025, would deliver approximately 120 kilotons per annum (KTA) of advanced recycling capacity at full run-rate. This and the other planned units expected to be constructed across Europe and the U.S. would collectively add as much as 600KTA of advanced recycling capacity by 2030 – and position Dow to become the largest consumer of circular feedstock for polyethylene production globally.
"The continuation and growth of Dow and Mura's collaboration is another example of how Dow is working strategically to expand and build momentum around securing circular feedstocks and supporting breakthrough advanced recycling technologies," said Isam Shomaly, Dow business vice president for Feedstocks and Commodities.
The planned facility builds on Dow's ongoing collaboration with Mura, first announced in 2021, with an initial project to construct the world's first plant using Mura's HydroPRS™ process, located in Teesside, UK, which is expected be operational in 2023 with an initial 20KTA production line. The Bohlen, Germany, site, expected to be co-located with Dow's manufacturing facilities, would enable a significantly larger capacity for plastic waste and considerably increase the supply of fully circular feedstock to the industry. This circular feed, derived from plastic waste currently destined for incineration or landfill, would reduce reliance on virgin fossil-based feedstocks and would enable Dow to produce a recycled plastic which is in high demand from global brands, particularly for high-end sensitive markets like food and medical applications.
Dow aims to take advantage of co-location benefits, which could significantly reduce the cost of scaling advance recycling facilities. In addition, co-location of Mura's facilities at Dow locations would be expected to reduce carbon emissions by minimizing transportation of the offtake and as gas output from the advanced recycling process can be converted back to plastics, thereby ensuring no by-products go to waste.
Mura's HydroPRS™ (Hydrothermal Plastic Recycling Solution) advanced recycling process is unique, as it uses supercritical steam to convert most forms of plastics – including flexible and multi-layer plastics, which have previously been deemed 'unrecyclable' – back into the original oils and chemicals from which they were made. These can then be used to create new, virgin-equivalent plastic products which are even suitable for food contact packaging.
With Mura's process, the same material can be recycled repeatedly, meaning it has the potential to eliminate single use plastic and prevent it from going to landfill or being incinerated. This has additional carbon benefits, with advanced recycling processes expected to save approximately 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide per ton of plastic recycled, compared to incineration and reducing reliance on fossil-based feedstocks.
As per MRC, Dow is cutting global polyethylene (PE) production rates by 15%. “Given continued global logistics constraints, including port and rail congestion in the US Gulf Coast and dynamic conditions in Europe, Dow is reducing operating rates across our polyethylene assets, resulting in temporarily lowering 15% of our global polyethylene nameplate capacity,” says the letter, dated 24 August. The letter says Dow expects the cutbacks to help balance high inventories at key global ports and packaging warehouses, particularly in the US Gulf Coast during August and September, the months when strong hurricanes are most likely to strike the region. Hurricane season, which lasts from June to November, has been quiet so far this year, although the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted an above-average number of storms.