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 U.S. Gulf Coast, Canada, and Singapore.
To meet customer demand for circular polymers, ExxonMobil has obtained certifications through the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification Plus (ISCC Plus) process for several of its facilities. ISCC Plus is widely recognized by industry as an effective system to certify products that result from advanced recycling using mass balance attribution of plastic waste.
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 in the environment through a portfolio of projects that has grown to more than 30 ongoing projects across several countries.
ExxonMobil, one of the largest publicly traded international energy companies, uses technology and innovation to help meet the world’s growing energy needs. ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading inventory of resources, is one of the largest refiners and marketers of petroleum products, and its chemical company is one of the largest in the world. To learn more, visit exxonmobil.com and the Energy Factor. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Cautionary Statement: Statements of future events, investment opportunities or conditions in this release are forward-looking statements. Actual future results, including project plans, timing, capacities, and costs and recycled waste volumes could vary depending on the ability to execute operational objectives on a timely and successful basis; the ability to scale projects and technologies on a commercially competitive; the outcome of future research and technology development programs, including the future success of collaborative efforts; the development and pace of supportive market conditions and policies including support for waste collection and sorting and advanced recycling; changes in laws and regulations including environmental laws and taxes; changes in plans or objectives prior to final funding decisions or project startups; unforeseen technical or operational difficulties; changes in supply and demand and other market factors affecting future prices of oil, gas, and petrochemical products; and other factors discussed in this release and under the heading “Factors Affecting Future Results” on the Investors page of ExxonMobil’s website at exxonmobil.com.