ExxonMobil to build large-scale plastic waste recycling facility in US

10:00 AM, 12th October 2021
ExxonMobil's Baytown, Texas plant. (File Photo)

IRVING, US: ExxonMobil plans to build its first, large-scale plastic waste advanced recycling facility in Baytown, Texas, and is expected to start operations by year-end 2022.

- Advanced recycling operation in Baytown, Texas will be among the largest in North America

- Commercial volumes of certified circular polymers available by year-end 2021

- Plans underway for up to 500,000 metric tons annually of advanced recycling capacity to be added by year-end 2026 across multiple sites

By recycling plastic waste back into raw materials that can be used to make plastic and other valuable products, the technology could help address the challenge of plastic waste in the environment. A smaller, temporary facility, is already operational and producing commercial volumes of certified circular polymers that will be marketed by the end of this year to meet growing demand.

“We’ve proven our proprietary advanced recycling technology in Baytown, and we’re scaling up operations to supply certified circular polymers by year-end,” said Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “Availability of reliable advanced recycling capacity will play an important role in helping address plastic waste in the environment, and we are evaluating wide-scale deployment in other locations around the world.”

The new facility follows validation of ExxonMobil’s initial trial of its proprietary process for converting plastic waste into raw materials. To date, the trial has successfully recycled more than 1,000 metric tons of plastic waste, the equivalent of 200 million grocery bags, and has demonstrated the capability of processing 50 metric tons per day.

Upon completion of the large-scale facility, the operation in Baytown will be among North America’s largest plastic waste recycling facilities and will have an initial planned capacity to recycle 30,000 metric tons of plastic waste per year. Operational capacity could be expanded quickly if effective policy and regulations that recognize the lifecycle benefits of advanced recycling are implemented for residential and industrial plastic waste collection and sorting systems.

ExxonMobil is developing plans to build approximately 500,000 metric tons of advanced recycling capacity globally over the next five years. In Europe, the company is collaborating with Plastic Energy on an advanced recycling plant in Notre Dame de Gravenchon, France, which is expected to process 25,000 metric tons of plastic waste per year when it starts up in 2023, with the potential for further expansion to 33,000 metric tons of annual capacity.

The company is also assessing sites in the Netherlands, the US Gulf Coast, Canada and Singapore.

To help address the need for increased collection and sorting of plastic waste, ExxonMobil formed a joint venture with Agilyx Corporation, Cyclyx International LLC, focused on developing innovative solutions for aggregating and pre-processing large volumes of plastic waste that can be converted into feedstocks for valuable products. Cyclyx will help supply ExxonMobil’s advanced recycling projects, and will aim to do the same for other customers.

ExxonMobil is a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, which is focused on accelerating investment in safe, scalable and economically viable solutions to help address the challenge of plastic waste.

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