Chemical Recycling: Could This Breakthrough Technology Curb Plastic Waste?

JIM CURTIS | June 25, 2018

article image
What if chemical recycling could radically transform the way plastic is recycled? Could it really turn previously unrecyclable plastic from old bottles, clothes and everyday products into brand-new plastic bottles? This is the question we asked Maria Luisa Polli, Technical Director of Coca-Cola Central & Eastern Europe, who recently joined the advisory board of DEMETO (a European consortium developing chemical recycling technology).

Spotlight

MATHESON ... the Gas Professionals (TM)

MATHESON produces and supplies industrial and specialty gases, and gas handling equipment in the United States and internationally. The company offers semiconductor, medical, welding, atmospheric and bulk, and cylinder gases for customers using gas in their labs, fabs, plants, and processes. It also designs and manufactures gas purification systems, generators, delivery systems, filters, purifiers, detection equipment, control valves, and management accessories; and gas cylinder enclosures, source manifolds, and panels, as well as helium recovery solutions. In addition, the company provides support, engineering, and systems management services to analytical laboratories and semiconductor manufacturers worldwide

OTHER ARTICLES

Southeast polyolefins demand growth could be negative again in 2021

Article | July 13, 2021

BEFORE the pandemic, GDP growth rates in the developing world were always higher than in developed economies.And because developing economies had much lower levels of petrochemicals consumption than their rich counterparts, it meant that the multiples over GDP were higher than in the rich word, where consumption was pretty much saturated. For instance, polyethylene (PE) demand in a developed country such as Germany might have grown at 0.3% times GDP whereas in Indonesia the growth could have been one or more times higher than the rate of growth in GDP.But as The Economist wrote in this 11 July article: “In 2021 the poorest countries, which are desperately short of vaccines, are forecast to grow more slowly than rich countries for only the third time in 25 years.” Might the multiples over GDP growth also be adversely affected in the developing world, trending lower than the historic norms? They will almost certainly remain higher than the rich countries. But here is the thing: as millions more people are pushed back into extreme poverty by the pandemic or are denied the opportunity to achieve middle-income status, I believe that developing-world multiples may well decline.Escaping extreme poverty means being able to, say, afford a whole bottle of shampoo for the first time rather than a single-serve sachet, thereby raising per capita polymers consumption.

Read More

Improving 3D Chemical Visualization of Subsurface Structures

Article | February 19, 2020

A Raman microscope combines a Raman spectrograph and a light microscope to gain chemical and structural information from materials down to the micron scale. Raman spectroscopy observes when the wavelength of light changes as it interacts with a molecule. The different wavelengths seen in Raman scattering can identify and study vibrational, rotational, and bending forces within chemical bonds of a molecule.

Read More

Can credit trading drive dollars to plastics recovery?

Article | February 18, 2020

An initiative backed by several major brands is looking to boost the flow of corporate money to vetted plastics recovery and recycling projects. The effort is based on a voluntary market-based standard, currently called the Plastic Waste Recovery and Recycling Project Standard, which will lay out broad rules and requirements for projects around the world to meet. Projects meeting the standard could generate credits, which companies would then purchase to help fund the effort. “It’s essentially driving corporation financing through a crediting mechanism to plastic recovery and recycling activities,” said Sneha Balasubramanian, a program officer at Washington, D.C.-based group Verra, which is creating the standard. Verra is a standards development organization that has a focus on climate action and sustainable development.

Read More

Global polyethylene demand boom likely, increasing the sustainability challenge

Article | June 15, 2021

IT FEELS LIKE several lifetimes ago. If you recall, way back in November-December 2019 Asian variable cost integrated naphtha-based polyethylene (PE) margins turned negative because of the increase in US capacity. Then in January the following year, deep Asian and Middle East operating rate cuts returned some order to the market. Then, bang, as we all know, the pandemic arrived and turned everything on its head. The pandemic has, in my view, accentuated trends that were already well underway. I believe this means that the supply-driven downturn that started in late 2019 will not return.Long before coronavirus upended everyone’s lives, PE demand was becoming increasingly divorced from GDP growth because of the shifting nature of end-use demand. Booming internet sales was, I believe, a major factor behind the split between the growth of the overall economies in the developed world plus China and PE demand.The average product bought online is dropped 17 times because of the large number of people involved in the logistics chain, according to Forbes. This had led to a surge in demand for protective packaging made not from PE and other polymers such as polypropylene, expandable polystyrene and PET films (I will look at their demand growth prospects in later posts).Despite sustainability pressures, the scale of demand for stuff bought online translated to a lot more consumption of virgin polymers.

Read More

Spotlight

MATHESON ... the Gas Professionals (TM)

MATHESON produces and supplies industrial and specialty gases, and gas handling equipment in the United States and internationally. The company offers semiconductor, medical, welding, atmospheric and bulk, and cylinder gases for customers using gas in their labs, fabs, plants, and processes. It also designs and manufactures gas purification systems, generators, delivery systems, filters, purifiers, detection equipment, control valves, and management accessories; and gas cylinder enclosures, source manifolds, and panels, as well as helium recovery solutions. In addition, the company provides support, engineering, and systems management services to analytical laboratories and semiconductor manufacturers worldwide

Events