The promise of chemical recycling

By Allan Gerlat : recyclingtoday – excerpt

Proponents say chemical recycling offers a way to recover plastics that are unsuited to traditional mechanical recycling methods.

At a time when headlines scream about plastic choking the oceans, companies around the world are searching for ways to repurpose end-of-life plastics. For some, the answer might be found in a philosophy of better living through chemistry.

Proponents say chemical recycling offers a way to recover plastics that are unsuited to traditional mechanical recycling methods. Most chemical recycling operations are just now emerging out of the experimental phase…

Agilyx Inc.

Agilyx Inc., Tigard, Oregon, is one of a few established chemical recyclers in the U.S. Its technology for recycling mixed plastics has yielded more than 800,000 gallons of crude oil that the company sells to refineries to be made into products such as low-carbon recycled jet fuel, gasoline and plastic resin.

“Agilyx has developed a comprehensive platform over the past 14 years that can effectively convert a broad range of plastics to a broad range of high-quality fuels and chemical substrates,” says CEO Joseph Vaillancourt…


Carbios, a green chemistry company focused on plastics recycling, is targeting polyethylene terephthalate (PET)—a resin it believes offers huge market potential…

Recycling Technologies Ltd.

Recycling Technologies Ltd., Swindon, England, employs thermal cracking to break down mixed plastics that can’t be recycled economically by mechanical means. The process produces a low-sulfur oil, dubbed Plaxx, which can be used to manufacture food-grade plastics, says Adrian Haworth, the company’s marketing and sales director…

BioCellection Inc.

Startup BioCellection Inc., Menlo Park, California, is targeting plastics that would otherwise be landfilled because of contamination or lack of mechanical recycling options. It is focused mainly on low-grade polyethylene film…

Loop Industries Inc.

Like BioCellection, Loop Industries Inc., Terrebonne, Quebec, uses a catalyst. The patented catalyst breaks down PET material—including mixed PET and polyester fiber—without the use of heat or pressure. The technology doesn’t require sorting, but shredding speeds up the process, as smaller pieces depolymerize more quickly…

Market demand

In August, recycler ReNew ELP, Redcar, England, and Finnish refinery company Neste agreed to partner to use plastic scrap as a raw material to produce liquid hydrocarbons, chemicals and new plastics…

The author is a correspondent for Plastics Machinery Magazine and can be reached at agerlat.

For more information:

Agilyx Corp., 503-217-3160,

BioCellection Inc., 408-802-5990,

Carbios S.A., 33-4-73-86-51-76,

Demeto, 32-2-739-6388,

Loop Industries Inc., 450-951-8555,

Recycling Technologies Ltd., 44-1793-827-965,

ReNew ELP, 44-01642-438-280,

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