Europe to get first polystyrene advanced recycling plant

Circular economy

United Kingdom – INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, plans to invest in a pilot plant for advanced polystyrene recycling.

The site will be established in collaboration with Recycling Technologies in Swindon, England. It is scheduled to go live in the second half of 2022.

The decision is a significant step forward in the advancement of polystyrene recycling via depolymerization technology. Depolymerization is a cutting-edge recycling technology that converts polystyrene waste feedstock back into its main building block, Styrene, which can then be used to produce new polystyrene with identical properties to the virgin material. Because of the unique properties of polystyrene, this efficient monomer recycling process can be used, eliminating the need to downcycle polystyrene. Another advantage of depolymerization is that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions significantly when compared to the production of virgin polystyrene from naphtha.

The Swindon pilot plant will use Recycling Technologies’ fluidised bed reactor technology, which has excellent scalability and will be the technology of choice for future larger recycling plants.