Rotterdam proposed location for waste-to-chemicals plant using Enerkem technology
New chemical plant will convert residual waste into methanol
A partnership comprised of AkzoNobel, Van Gansewinkel, Air Liquide, AVR and Enerkem has announced that it is looking to build its waste-to-chemicals plant in Rotterdam in collaboration with the Port of Rotterdam, the City of Rotterdam, the province of South Holland and InnovationQuarter. According to Montreal-based Enerkem, this important step marks the beginning of a new phase for the members of the consortium who will now work together to finalize the business case which involves the selection of the exact location within the Port of Rotterdam and the start of the application process for the necessary permits.
The new chemical plant will use Enerkem’s innovative technology to convert residual waste into methanol, a raw material used in the chemical industry. The methanol will then be converted into chemicals such as acetic acid (e.g., for fibers and adhesives), thickening agents and dimethyl ether (clean propellant gases). These chemicals are currently produced almost entirely from fossil fuels. The planned facility will therefore provide a sustainable alternative by producing a renewable chemical and will represent a significant step toward a sustainable and circular approach to waste management in Rotterdam.
“We are excited to help advance the circular economy in the Netherlands with our proprietary chemical recycling technology which provides a cost-effective solution that complements source separation and conventional recycling and produces a renewable raw material for the chemical industry,” said Timothy J. Cesarek, Enerkem’s Senior Vice President, Business Development.
This project is aligned with the Dutch Government’s ambitious plan for the circular economy which was recently presented to the Parliament by the State Secretary Dijksma. The partnership sees Enerkem’s technology as a complement to existing recycling technologies.
The consortium anticipates that chemical recycling will become increasingly important in the coming years, given increasing end-product complexity and the growing demands on chemical intermediates. In producing a high quality raw material for the chemical industry, Enerkem’s technology adds a new category of recycling in the waste hierarchy and takes the ‘waste-to-resource’ approach to the next level.
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.