Plastics company LyondellBasell has announced it is working with Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) to improve the chemical recycling of plastic materials.
It will also work to assist the efforts towards the circular economy and plastic waste.
The focus of the collaboration is to develop a new catalyst and process technology to decompose post-consumer plastic waste, such as packaging into monomers and reuse in polymerisation processes.
LyondellBasell chief executive Bob Patel said: “Earlier this year we announced a 50% share in Quality Circular Polymers (QCP) to drive the development of high quality recycled polyolefins from the mechanical recycling of sorted post-consumer waste streams.
“This new cooperation will be a major step towards chemical recycling and extend our contribution to the circular economy.”
Chemical recycling is able to manage multilayer and hybrid plastic materials, which can’t be easily recovered by mechanical recycling.
LyondellBasell senior vice president of research and development Massimo Covezzi, said: “We are complementing our leading competencies in catalyst and process technologies in cooperation with KIT, to create a new and complete plastic waste molecular recycling process.
“The goal is to develop a high efficiency and clean plastic depolymerization process, through catalyst innovation, to transform plastic waste back to the chemical building blocks.”