TotalEnergies SE and clean technology firm Clariter SA have developed what they describe as the world's first sustainable ultrapure solvent made from plastic waste.
In a news release, officials with both firms said that ultrapure solvents are used in pharmaceutical, cosmetics and other markets that require safe, colorless, odorless and tasteless products that meet pharmacopoeia-standard purity criteria.
Producing these solvents from plastic waste not only significantly reduces their environmental footprint, but also contributes towards addressing the challenge of end-of-life plastics, they added.
Courbevoie, France-based TotalEnergies and Clariter of Luxembourg worked together on the project for 18 months. Clariter used its proprietary upcycling technology to transform plastic waste into sustainable solvents, waxes and oils.
TotalEnergies' Fluids unit then converted the materials using its hydro-de-aromatization (HDA) technology into very high purity solvents. Officials said the project "demonstrates the commitment of the two partners to develop high-quality low carbon footprint products and to contribute to the development of the circular economy."
"We are thrilled to have achieved this significant milestone in our journey towards bringing to industry sustainable, high-quality products made from plastic waste," Clariter Scientific Director Daria Fraczak said.
Didier Ribault, business development director for TotalEnergies Fluids, added that the new technology "opens a broad field of solutions to help our industrial customers decarbonize their industry, and fully integrates within our target of commercializing 30 percent low carbon solvents by 2030."
In early 2022, Clariter partnered with fibers maker Teijin Aramid to recycle its fibers into pure industrial products, including aliphatic solvents, white mineral oils and paraffin waxes. Clariter is planning to build and operate a full-scale plant located near a Teijin Aramid plant in Delfzijl, Netherlands. Preparations for more plants are ongoing in Poland and Israel.
TotalEnergies is a global oil and energy firm and one of North America's largest producers of polypropylene resin.