Honeywell's new UpCycle Process Technology expands the types of plastics that can be recycled
Honeywell has commercialized a process that expands the types of plastics that can be recycled and can produce feedstock used to make recycled plastics with a lower carbon footprint. The new technology can reduce the need for fossil fuels in the creation of virgin plastics while enabling hundreds of cycles of recycling, with the goal of enabling a circular economy for plastics.
Honeywell's UpCycle Process Technology utilizes molecular conversion, pyrolysis, and contaminants management technology to convert waste plastic back to Honeywell Recycled Polymer Feedstock, which is then used to create new plastics. The UpCycle Process technology expands the types of plastics that can be recycled to include waste plastic that would otherwise go unrecycled, including coloured, flexible, multilayered packaging and polystyrene.
When used in conjunction with other chemical and mechanical recycling processes -- along with improvements to collection and sorting - Honeywell's UpCycle Process Technology has the potential to increase the amount of global plastic waste that can be recycled to 90 percent.
According to a study published by AMI International in September 2020, waste plastics processed through advanced recycling technologies, such as UpCycle Process Technology, could amount to between 5 and 15 million tons of additional plastic waste being recycled per year by 2030.
Recycled plastics produced via UpCycle Process Technology can result in a 57 percent reduction of CO2-equivalent (CO2e) emissions compared with the production of the same amount of virgin plastic from fossil feeds. The process also reduces CO2e emissions by 77 percent compared with conventional modes of handling waste plastic, such as incineration and landfilling.
Sacyr, a Spain-based global engineering and services company with operations in more than 20 countries worldwide, will be the first to deploy Honeywell's proprietary UpCycle Process Technology. Honeywell and Sacyr will form a joint venture where the two companies will co-own and operate a facility in Andalucía, in Southern Spain, with a capacity to transform 30,000 metric tons per year of mixed waste plastics into Honeywell Recycled Polymer Feedstock. Production is expected to begin in 2023.
Partnering with companies that have waste management experience such as Sacyr allows Honeywell to help close the loop within the plastics supply chain by bringing the recycling technology onsite to the collection source. The recycling plants employ a modular design, enabling straightforward deployment and installation, striking the right balance between economy of scale and amount of waste plastic generated locally.
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.