Mura Technology, an advanced plastic recycling company, has announced another step in its collaboration with Dow. The duo will build a new facility at Dow’s Bären He site in Germany, which will be the largest chemical recycling facility in Europe.
It is also the latest in a series of projects planned in the US and Europe to expand chemical recycling capacity. The project plans to make a final investment decision by the end of 2023.
Expected to be operational by 2025, the new facility will provide an advanced recycling capacity of approximately 120 kilotonnes per year (KTA) at full capacity.
By 2030, an advanced recycling capacity of up to 600 KTA could be operational between the Bohlen site and other plants to be built in Europe and the US. This positions Dow as one of the world’s largest consumers of cyclic raw materials for PE production.
Diego Donoso, president, packaging and specialty plastics at Dow.
“By diversifying our shale feedstocks and decarbonizing our assets, Dow will be able to meet our goals for a sustainable, low-carbon future and meet strong and growing customer demand for circular polymers.”
The HydroPRS Process
The proposed facility is the first project to build a world-first plant using Mura’s process and builds on Dow’s ongoing collaboration with Mura, which was first announced last year. Teesside HydroPRS process in the United Kingdom The site is scheduled to go live with an initial production line of 20 KTA in 2023.
Mura’s advanced HydroPRS (Hydrothermal Plastic Recycling Solution) recycling process uses supercritical steam to convert most forms of plastic, including flexible and multi-layered plastics previously thought to be unrecyclable, into their original oil and back to chemicals. They can be used to produce completely new plastic products that are also suitable for food contact packaging.
Currently, this circularity at the Beren plant, which is derived from plastic waste destined for incineration or landfill disposal, will reduce Dow’s reliance on pure fossil raw materials and will enable Dow to develop global brands, especially sensitive high-end products. It will be able to produce recycled plastic, which is in high demand. markets such as food and medical applications.
Dow says it aims to take advantage of colocation. This has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of scaling up advanced recycling facilities. In addition, the co-location of Mura’s facilities at Dow locations would be expected to reduce carbon emissions by minimizing transportation of the offtake and as gas output from the advanced recycling process can be converted back to plastics, ensuring no by-products go to waste.
Combating plastic waste
Steve Mahon, CEO of Mura Technology, says the world is experiencing a “plastics crisis” that requires innovative solutions.
“Mura’s collaboration with Dow has led to the largest commitment across the industry to date, showcasing the urgency from industry leaders to adopt scalable solutions such as HydroPRS that will transform the plastics industry worldwide,” he explains.
“Dow’s commitment to accelerating a global circular plastics economy is exemplified through deploying HydroPRS at the newest advanced recycling facility in Germany, which will enable us to dramatically increase recycling capacity.”
With Mura’s HydroPRS process, the same material can be recycled repeatedly, giving it the potential to eliminate single-use plastic and prevent it from going to landfill or being incinerated. This has additional carbon benefits, with advanced recycling processes expected to save approximately 1.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per tonnes of plastic recycled, compared to incineration and reduce reliance on fossil-based feedstocks.
Dow and Mura’s ongoing and growing collaboration is a strategic initiative for Dow to expand and gain momentum by securing recyclable resources and supporting innovative and advanced recycling technologies.