A step closer to large-scale polystyrene circularity thanks to Sulzer Chemtech’s alliance with VTT

December 9, 2022

Press release from VTT

Sulzer Chemtech is strengthening its technology offering for chemical polymer recycling by joining forces with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The exclusive collaboration will support the commercialization of comprehensive polystyrene (PS) recycling solutions at the core of circular economy strategies.

Sulzer Chemtech has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with VTT to advance the development and popularization of a fully integrated processing train that converts poorly recycled waste PS into high-purity styrene suitable to produce various grades of styrenic polymers. These will also include demanding food-related applications with stringent, low VOC (volatile organic compounds) requirements.

The system will rely on VTT’s patented pyrolysis-based depolymerization solution and Sulzer Chemtech’s SuReTM Styrene purification technology. PS manufacturers and recyclers will benefit in the near future from a complete setup to increase the range of feedstock material supported by their plants. This will ultimately enable them to improve their sustainability and product quality.

Sulzer Chemtech, which supports VTT in the development of its innovative PS recycling technology, will act as the main licensor, providing full process solutions to customers. These include basic engineering services, supply of key equipment and skid-mounted modular units.

Jarmo Ropponen, Vice President of Industrial Chemistry at VTT, comments: “Sulzer Chemtech has an excellent track-record with projects aimed at driving circularity in the (bio)-polymer and plastic sectors. For VTT, Sulzer Chemtech is an ideal industrial partner to drive the global adoption of PS chemical recycling facilities. We look forward to working together to develop more sustainable plastics and bring positive change in the sector.”

Patrick Farquet, Head of Renewables and Bio-based Applications at Sulzer Chemtech, concludes: “We are excited to expand our licensed technology portfolio by integrating the VTT’s cutting-edge PS chemical recycling technology to further attest our commitment to sustainability. Even more, it will get us and the entire industry a step closer to making PS a fully circular product.”

Jarmo Ropponen
Vice President
[email protected]

Originally published on 8 December.

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