Honeywell claims a breakthrough in the war on plastics
9 Nov 2021
Honeywell is claiming a significant environmental breakthrough with a process that increases the types of plastics that can be recycled and also produce feedstock used to make recycled plastics with a lower carbon footprint.
It says its UpCycle Process Technology technology reduce the need for fossil fuels in the creation of virgin plastics while enabling "hundreds of cycles of recycling".
The technology employs molecular conversion, pyrolysis, and contaminants management technology to convert waste plastic back to its Honeywell Recycled Polymer Feedstock, used to create new plastics.
Waste plastic that previously was unrecycled – such as coloured, flexible, multilayered packaging and polystyrene – can now be included, it claims. When used in conjunction with other chemical and mechanical recycling processes, UpCycle Process Technology has the potential to increase the amount of recyclable global plastic waste by as much as 90%.
A recent AMI International study last year suggested the return on advanced recycling technologies, could amount to between 5-15 million tons of additional plastic waste being recycled per year by 2030.
“Plastics play an important role in our society, including expanding the shelf life of food and making vehicles lighter, which reduces their emissions. Unfortunately, only a fraction of plastics today can be successfully recycled,” said Vimal Kapur, president and chief executive officer of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies.
“By broadening the types of plastic that can be recycled, UpCycle will revolutionize the plastics economy and play a critical role in improving the sustainability of many of the products we use on a daily basis.”
The company asserts that recycled plastics produced via UpCycle Process Technology produce 57% reduction of CO2-equivalent (CO2e) emissions compared with the production of the same amount of virgin plastic from fossil feeds.2.
It also reduces CO2e emissions by more than three quarters, compared with incineration and landfilling.
Spain-based global engineering and services company Sacyr, will be the first to deploy Honeywell’s proprietary UpCycle Process Technology at scale, in a joint venture facility in Andalucía. Production is to begin in 2023 with the potential to transform 30,000 metric tons per year of mixed waste plastics into feedstock.