BASF
Investment in pyrolysis oil producer Pyrum / Second initiative in “ChemCycling project”
In its latest step toward increasing the share of alternative raw materials in its feedstock mix, BASF (Ludwigshafen / Germany; www.basf.com) said it is investing EUR 16m in Pyrum Innovations (Dillingen / Germany; www.pyrum.net), a specialist in pyrolysis of waste tyres. The chemical producer said the cash injection will support the expansion of Pyrum’s pyrolysis plant in Dillingen and the further roll-out of that company’s technology, which will also assist construction of additional capacity. BASF called the new project a “milestone in the development of a circular economy.”

The group said it will take most of the output from the pyrolysis plant, currently capable of processing up to 10,000 t/y of end-of-life tyres, and use the resulting oil along with mixed plastics waste to produce high-end functional plastics. Pyrum plans to add two additional processing lines by 2022 in collaboration with external partners.

BASF estimates that there is scope to process as much as 100,000 t/y in the not-too-distant future. It noted that the collaborative approach will smooth the path towards employing Pyrum’s unique technology in serial production. Pyrum founder and CEO Pascal Klein said that thanks to BASF’s investment he is confident that his company, which has worked on the technology for 12 years, “will be one of the market leaders” in tyre recycling.

“Future investors in the technology can have the certainty that the pyrolysis oil produced will be taken up by BASF to produce high-performance chemical products,” the chemicals group said, adding that this would serve to close the loop for post-consumer plastic waste. Waste tyres are certified as post-consumer plastic waste according to DIN EN ISO 14021:2016-07. Hartwig Michels, president of BASF’s petrochemicals division, said: “With the investment, we have taken another significant step towards establishing a broad supply base for pyrolysis oil and towards offering our customers products based on chemically recycled plastic waste on a commercial scale.

According to a life cycle assessment carried out by UK consultants Sphera (Gateshead; https://spheraconsulting.co.uk/) on behalf of BASF, products made from pyrolysis oil using a mass balance approach – as the chemical giant plans to employ – have the exact same properties as products manufactured with primary fossil resources, and they also produce a lower carbon footprint. For example, the consultancy calculates that 1 t of PA 6 produced with Pyrum’s tyre pyrolysis oil under a mass balance approach emits 1.3 t less CO2 than 1 t of the same product manufactured from fossil feedstock. The lower emissions result from avoiding the incineration of the end-of-life tires, BASF said.

The deal with Pyrum is the second BASF has announced as part of its “ChemCycling” initiative during the month of September. At the beginning of the month it unveiled a pact with New Energy (Budapest / Hungary; www.newenergy.hu/en), another technology company specialised in pyrolysis of waste tyres, to take 4,000 t/y of pyrolysis oil (see Plasteurope.com Web of 08.09.2020).
29.09.2020 Plasteurope.com [245975-0]
Published on 29.09.2020
BASF: Chemiekonzern investiert in Pyrolyse-Spezialisten PyrumGerman version of this article...

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