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Qenos to use advanced recycling technology from Plastic Energy and Axens

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Plastic Energy (UK), one of the world’s leading advanced plastics recycling technology companies, and Axens (France), worldwide provider of technologies, products and services, for the production of cleaner, renewable, gas, fuels and chemicals, are partnering with Qenos in the planning of a major circular plastics manufacturing capability in Australia.

Plastic Energy, which specialises in advanced recycling of plastics using its Thermal Anaerobic Conversion (TAC) process and Axens which has developed the leading edge Rewind®Mix process will support the recently announced Qenos and Cleanaway joint feasibility study for the conversion of up to 100 000 t of household soft plastic waste and mixed plastics back into circular polyethylene.

Circular plastics manufacturing using advanced recycling takes soft plastics and other hard-to-recycle plastic waste which currently goes to landfill, incineration or escapes into the environment and recycles this back into the same products. It is the next major phase in recycling, and is forecast to attract US$680 billion of investment globally by 2050.

Circular polyethylene has identical properties to virgin polyethylene and can be used in food contact and high-performance applications thereby supporting local packaging and food manufacturers to achieve the 2025 APCO National Packaging Targets.

Qenos CEO, Stephen Bell, said that this important step in the development of the Qenos Circular Plastics Project (QCPP) was the result of an extensive assessment of suitable advanced recycling technologies and partners, supported in part by the Victorian Government.

“Qenos’ objective is to deliver a project of market-leading scale which will meet customer expectations and deliver on recycled content targets by 2025. These partnerships are crucial – Plastic Energy and Axens are world class companies that also see this opportunity to partner with Qenos, and support the establishment of a new major manufacturing sector worth US$350 million annually with 3100 jobs over the longer term.”

“We are pleased to be partnering with Qenos as the advanced recycling technology provider, along with Axens, for this study into the creation of a circular polyethylene capability in Australia. Our patented and proven recycling process for plastic waste has been in operation in Europe since 2016, exemplifying why we were identified by Qenos as a leader in the advanced recycling sector, and a reliable partner on this project,” said Carlos Monreal, Founder and CEO of Plastic Energy.

Stephane Fedou, Axens Plastics Circular Economy Director said “Axens is proud to have been selected by Qenos, a world class polyethylene manufacturer and specialty polymers supplier. This reveals all the potential of our alliance with Plastic Energy to provide, at scale, a complete and optimised solution, for advanced recycling of waste plastic, which otherwise would end up incinerated or landfilled, for the production of food-grade plastics while minimizing carbon footprint.”

The Australian Food & Grocery Council (AFGC) is developing the National Plastics Recycling Scheme (NPRS), which aims to collect and recycle nearly 190 000 t of soft plastic packaging per annum by 2025.

AFGC CEO, Tanya Barden, said “Developing circular plastic-to-plastic recycling capability in Australia is essential to address the challenge of plastic waste and meet the National Packaging Targets.”

“This is an example of the collaboration, investment and technology needed to create an effective and sustainable circular economy for plastic packaging in Australia,” Ms Barden said.

The QCPP is the largest proposed circular plastics project in Australia, and is currently being considered for support under the Federal Government’s Modern Manufacturing initiative.

The joint feasibility study is expected to be completed by July 2022 and a Final Investment Decision (FID) to be made later this year. Pending a successful outcome, the first of the advanced recycling facilities is expected to be operational by 2025. Fully commissioned, the QCPP would secure a leadership role for the Australian manufacturing chain in this emerging global sector.

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