Sustainability

TotalEnergies, New Hope Partner on Recycling Plant
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TotalEnergies, New Hope Partner on Recycling Plant

By George Gill - May 23, 2022

One key challenge for companies in plastics recycling is finding customers for the transformed plastic waste and putting the material back into commercial use. That’s a challenge a commercial agreement between TotalEnergies and New Hope Energy for an advanced recycling plant in Texas aims to meet.

New Hope Energy will build an advanced recycling plant in Texas to transform end-of-life plastic waste into a recycled feedstock. France-based TotalEnergies will partly purchase and convert the feedstock into virgin-quality polymers, which the food industry can use for packaging.

The New Hope Energy plant is expected to start production in 2025. It will use a patented pyrolysis technology developed in partnership with Lummus Technology to process and convert more than 310,000 tons per year of mixed plastic waste that would otherwise go to landfills or incineration. TotalEnergies will use 100,000 tons of recycled polymer feedstock in its Texas production units. The feedstock will be used to manufacture high-quality polymers suitable for food-grade applications, such as flexible and rigid food packaging containers.

“This new project is another concrete and significant step Total Energies is taking to address the challenge of plastic recycling and meet our goal of producing 30% circular polymers by 2030,” Valerie Goff, Total Energies’ senior vice president, polymers, said in a press release.

“TotalEnergies understands the need to increase recycling in the U.S. and abroad, and their 2030 renewable polymer goal is a testament of their commitment to the circular economy,” said Rusty Combs, CEO of New Hope Energy.

“The ability to effectively and economically convert waste plastics to pyrolysis oil for further use is a critical step in achieving a true circular economy,” said Leon de Bruyn, president and CEO of Lummus Technology. “Supporting TotalEnergies in reaching their sustainability goals is exactly what our integrated processing solutions are designed to do.”

New Hope Energy opened its Trinity Oaks Tyler pyrolysis facility in 2018. Lummus Technology and New Hope announced in October 2020 that they signed a cooperation agreement to market and further develop a leading plastic waste conversion technology based on thermal pyrolysis.

The pyrolysis process extracts oil from plastics by heating them in the absence of oxygen. Several plants today – mostly in Europe and Canada – use the process to make plastics into fuels on a commercial scale. But researchers are also looking for ways to make higher value oil products and petrochemicals. In 2019, Nynas AB and Research Institutes of Sweden launched a project to make base stocks from pyrolysis oil from waste plastics. Shell announced the same year that it had developed a pyrolysis process to make plastic resins.