Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. said it has successfully completed its first commercial-scale production of polyethylene using chemical recycling and plans to produce 1 billion pounds of the material annually by 2030.
The Woodlands, Texas-based firm made the announcement Oct. 8 and said the recycled material matches the performance and safety specifications of its virgin PE.
CPChem spokesman Ryan Draper said the company has a target to produce a total of 1 billion pounds of the recycled PE annually by 2030. He declined to disclose current production but said it was made in the company's Cedar Bayou facility in Baytown, Texas, where it makes virgin PE and other chemicals.
"We are exceptionally proud to be the first company to announce production of a circular polyethylene on this scale in the U.S.," Jim Becker, vice president of polymers and sustainability, said in the statement. "The successful production run marks a huge step for CPChem on our path to being a world leader in producing circular polymers."
"This development is an important milestone for us as we further our commitment to proactively help the world find sustainable solutions, including the elimination of plastic waste in the environment," he said.
The company said it was a two-year development process, and it is now working on scaling up production.
It also said it is working with suppliers of pyrolysis oil from waste plastic as a feedstock and is seeking to have the material certified by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification Plus program. It plans to market it under the trade name Marlex Anew Circular Polyethylene.
"This advanced recycling technology allows us to recover hydrocarbons from plastic waste that have previously been difficult, or even impossible to recycle, enabling us to upgrade them into clean, safe circular plastics," said Ron Abbott, CPChem's sustainability technical manager.