INEOS Styrolution, a global leader in styrenics, and Agilyx, a leader in converting post-consumer plastics to low-carbon fuels, chemicals and plastics, announced they are advancing the development of a polystyrene (PS) chemical recycling facility in Channahon, Ill.
The facility will be capable of processing up to 100 tons per day of post-consumer polystyrene and converting it into a styrene product that will go into the manufacturing of new polystyrene products. The facility will leverage Agilyx’s proprietary chemical recycling technology, which breaks polystyrene down to its molecular base monomers that will be used for the creation of new styrenic polymers. This is a true circular recycling approach that enables everyday products, like a cup, to be recycled back into a cup.
Agilyx recently completed a successful development program for INEOS Styrolution that qualified the styrene product to INEOS’ specifications and the identified post-consumer polystyrene feedstock for the process. The next phase of the project advances the engineering and design of the facility.
“This is an incredibly exciting time to be in this industry,” said Ricardo Cuetos, vice president of INEOS Styrolution Americas, standard products, in a statement. “Agilyx’s chemical recycling technology is a game changer to advance the circular recycling pathway of plastics. A benefit of chemical recycling is there is no degradation over multiple cycles; the polymers can continue to create new products over and over again of the same purity and performance of virgin polystyrene. This plant will dramatically increase recycling rates in the greater Chicago area, dispelling the myth that polystyrene can’t be recycled. We are thrilled to partner with Agilyx on this project.”
The Agilyx proprietary chemical recycling process can recycle polystyrene contaminated with food and other organics and convert it back into new, food-grade plastic products or packaging. The process demonstrates that much more post-consumer plastics in the world today can be chemically recycled to new plastic products again and become a renewable resource.
“Polystyrene is the best option for prepared food and beverage containers. It provides cost-effective, high-quality packaging for foodservice applications,” said Joe Vaillancourt, Agilyx's CEO, in a statement. “Alternative polymers chosen over polystyrene experience low recycling rates [and] are less amenable to chemical recycling, with most of those plastics ending up in landfills. We are excited to be working with INEOS Styrolution to advance this chemical recycling pathway that has the ability to significantly increase recycling rates all over the world.”