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Technologies for chemical recycling of household plastics - A technical review and TRL assessment
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy and Climate Studies, ECS. Profu AB, Gotaforsliden 13, S-43134 Molndal, Sweden..
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy and Climate Studies, ECS.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7123-1824
2020 (English)In: Waste Management, ISSN 0956-053X, E-ISSN 1879-2456, Vol. 105, p. 128-138Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Chemical recycling is considered an attractive technological pathway for reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as promoting circular economy. In the EU, readiness to develop a full commercial plant is becoming increasingly important given the ambitious goal to recycle all plastics by 2030. Household packaging streams tend to be of lower quality and lower recycling performance compared to industrial and commercial waste streams, thus requiring particular attention. This paper assesses chemical recycling technologies available and identifies the most suitable for recycling of household plastic waste. We identify eight different technologies and compare them in terms of process temperature, sensitivity to feedstock contamination and level of polymer breakdown, three critical factors affecting the cost and attractiveness of a chemical process. In addition, we carry out a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) assessment for eight technologies based on the stage of their present development. The review is based on peer-reviewed scientific papers and information collected from technology developers and providers, as well as interviews with experts. Our analysis outlines advantages and disadvantages of technologies available for chemical plastic recycling and their TRL. The chemical recycling technologies with the highest TRL are pyrolysis, catalytic cracking and conventional gasification. However, the economic feasibility of these technologies is difficult to assess due to the low number of projects in operation and scarcity of data available for comparison. The results of this analysis provide timely information as policy makers and developers set targets for recycling, and contemplate investments on research and chemical plastic recovering plants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD , 2020. Vol. 105, p. 128-138
Keywords [en]
Recycling, Chemical recycling, Plastic waste, Plastic packaging, Recycling rates, Circular economy
National Category
Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-271932DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2020.01.038ISI: 000520856700014PubMedID: 32058902Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85079141165OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-271932DiVA, id: diva2:1424958
Note

QC 20200420

Available from: 2020-04-20 Created: 2020-04-20 Last updated: 2020-04-20Bibliographically approved

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