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Ecolab announces solutions for advanced recycled plastic feedstocks

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Nalco Water, Ecolab’s water and process management business for industrial customers, has launched a new programme for refineries, ethylene producers and chemical recyclers of plastic waste. The program offers an end-to-end suite of chemistries and field expertise that are unique to the downstream energy and chemical markets.

The world now produces more than 380 million tpy of plastic, much of which continues to exist as pollutants, entering the natural environment and oceans. Companies, governments and citizens around the world increasingly recognise the challenges of single use plastics and are seeking to address them with a more ‘circular economy’. Advanced recyclers of plastic waste have begun to produce an alternate feedstock — pyrolysis oil — for ethylene producers and refiners. This alternative feedstock, which utilises recycled plastic waste, can be difficult to process and transport, which creates new challenges within their operations.

To alleviate these challenges for both advanced recyclers and downstream processors, the new programme offers several solutions that make the production of pyrolysis oil easier while also helping with feedstock flowability and stability as it is transported, stored and processed.

“The Advanced Recycling for Plastics programme offers strong value for ethylene producers that are using recycled plastic feedstock as a way to implement more sustainable solutions,” said Calvin Emanuel, VP, Strategy, Primary Resources Sector. “Human desire for more ecofriendly energy solutions is driving fundamental change in the marketplace, and Nalco Water can help support our customers along their transformational journey with the solutions in this new programme.”

Nalco Water has already leveraged existing partnerships with major ethylene producers and advanced recyclers of plastic waste in North America and Europe. Early trials with the solutions have successfully enabled companies to process the recycled plastic feedstock, which has been shown to significantly reduce carbon emissions over other traditional feedstocks, such as petroleum naphtha.

A suite of solutions

The Nalco Water programme is a holistic suite of offerings aimed at helping ethylene producers and refiners use existing infrastructure when processing pyrolysis oil. The solutions enable companies to preserve their existing equipment, which necessitates lower capital costs than retrofitting their operations for feedstock transportation. Additionally, the solutions that help with feedstock stability and flowability as it is stored and processed protect refining and chemical processing infrastructure from scaling and corrosion.

The programme brings a tailored approach to the industry and includes:

  • Chemical solutions to help with the production, storage and transportation of recycled plastic feedstock.
  • Consulting on programme implementation, seasonal variabilities, asset protection and future scaling potential.
  • Continuous research and development to optimise operations.

“This programme offers several services and technologies that improve processes and overall operational reliability, but we are choosing to focus on the end results,” Emanuel said. “Ecolab is committed to help our customers along their net zero journey, and our concentration on the tangible results that advanced plastics recycling solutions bring to ethylene producers is a significant step forward towards their objectives.”

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Downstream news Oil refinery news Downstream petrochemical news