(727a) Conversion of Plastic Waste to Fuel: Assessment of Technologies and Economics | AIChE

(727a) Conversion of Plastic Waste to Fuel: Assessment of Technologies and Economics


Alexandridis, P. - Presenter, State Univ of New York-Buffalo
Lubongo, C., University At Buffalo, SUNY
Congdon, T., University at Buffalo, The State University of New York (SUNY)
Plastics are extremely valuable to our society and are widely used across industries such as food, beverage, textile, healthcare, automotive, aerospace, construction, agriculture, and oil. The global production of plastics, accumulative from 1950 to 2017, is 8.3 billion metric tons, with 6.3 billion tons waste generated, of which only 9% has been recycled, 12% incinerated, with the remaining 79% landfilled or released into the environment. Mechanical recycling is used to recycle about 95% of plastic waste today, however, this method works well only for homogeneous and non-contaminated plastic waste, and for easily identifiable objects such as bottles and containers made of PET and PE. Chemical recycling can offer a solution in recycling many of the plastics which mechanical recycling fails to process. Chemical recycling involves the deconstruction of polymers to monomers for conversion back into polymers, or to intermediates that can be used as fuel or feedstock by the chemical industry. A number of chemical recycling technologies are being developed, and the processes are being tailored to handle specific feedstocks and/or produce desirable products. In this project we assess companies that are involved in the chemical recycling of plastic waste: their technology and/or key innovations, the feedstocks and product(s), and the current scale of operation. Further, we evaluate in this project the economics of chemical recycling with a specific interest on plastic-to-fuel conversion.