Canadian Plastics

Ineos Styrolution, Agilyx building PS chemical recycling plant in Illinois

The partnership paves the way for closed loop recycling to keep polystyrene out of landfills.

December 11, 2019   Canadian Plastics

Image Credit: Ineos Styrolution

Germany-based styrenics supplier Ineos Styrolution and U.S. plastics recycler Agilyx have announced plans to build a polystyrene (PS) chemical recycling facility in Channahon, Illinois.

In a Dec. 9 statement, the companies said the facility would help reduce the amount of PS going into landfill and increase recycling rates in the greater Chicago area. The new plant will be capable of processing up to 100 tons per day of post-consumer PS and converting it into a styrene product that will go into the manufacturing of new PS products.

In a statement, the companies said the facility will leverage Agilyx’s proprietary chemical recycling technology, which breaks PS 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,” the statement said.

“Agilyx’s chemical recycling technology is a game changer to advance the circular recycling pathway of plastics,” said Ricardo Cuetos, vice president for Ineos Styrolution Americas, standard products. “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 PS.”

Agilyx recently completed a successful development program for Ineos that qualified the styrene product to Ineos’ specifications and the identified post-consumer PS feedstock for the process.

The next phase of the project advances the engineering and design of the facility.

“Polystyrene is the best option for prepared food and beverage containers,” Joe Vaillancourt, Agilyx’s CEO, said in the statement. “It provides cost-effective, high-quality packaging for food service applications. Alternative polymers chosen over PS experience low recycling rates, are less amenable to chemical recycling, with most of those plastics ending up in landfills.”


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