Eastman offers innovative recycling technology for polyesters
Kingsport, Tenn., USA, March 5, 2019 – Eastman (NYSE:EMN), one of the world’s leading specialty materials companies, announced today its intention to pursue the launch of an innovative advanced circular recycling technology that uses polyester waste which cannot be recycled by current mechanical methods, and as a result, often ends up in landfills and waterways.
Using the process of methanolysis, Eastman’s advanced circular recycling technology breaks down polyester-based products into their polymer building blocks. These building blocks can then be reintroduced to the production of new polyester-based polymers, delivering a true circular solution. Eastman was one of the pioneers in developing methanolysis technology at commercial scale and has more than three decades of expertise in this innovative recycling process. Eastman’s experience with methanolysis makes it uniquely qualified to be a leader in delivering this solution at commercial scale. Advanced circular recycling technology can be an especially impactful solution, as low-quality polyester waste that would typically be diverted to landfills can instead be recycled into high-quality polyesters suitable for use in a variety of end markets, including food contact applications.
“We recognize that plastic waste is a complex problem that needs advanced solutions. As we have engaged potential partners, it is clear there is high interest across the entire value chain,” said Mark Costa, Eastman’s Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer. “Our long history of technical expertise in chemical processes, including methanolysis, and our leading position in copolyester chemistry, enables us to provide this innovative solution to address the growing challenges of plastic waste in our environment.”
Eastman is currently executing an engineering feasibility study on the design and construction of a commercial scale methanolysis facility to meet the demands of our customers and has engaged in initial discussions with potential partners across the value chain on the development of such a facility. The goal is to be operating a full-scale, advanced circular recycling facility within 24 to 36 months.
Eastman’s efforts to find new end-of-life solutions to advance the circular economy align with the company’s innovation-driven growth strategy and commitment to create value through sustainability. With a strong focus on issues and opportunities within the environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework, the company has established goals and strategies to address the world’s complex challenges.
“We believe we have an obligation to enhance the quality of life in a material way,” said David Golden, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal & Sustainability Officer, and Corporate Secretary. “As the desire grows for products that have a sustainable life cycle, Eastman continues to build on its heritage of world-class technology platforms and product innovation to offer solutions at the molecular level. Today, more than ever, the world needs innovation, and Eastman is excited about the possibilities we can achieve by working along the value chain, across industry sectors and with community partners to expand our efforts and make the greatest collective impact.”
For more information, visit eastman.com/circulareconomy.
Eastman is a global specialty materials company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With the purpose of enhancing the quality of life in a material way, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. The company’s innovation-driven growth model takes advantage of world-class technology platforms, deep customer engagement, and differentiated application development to grow its leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. As a globally inclusive and diverse company, Eastman employs approximately 14,500 people around the world and serves customers in more than 100 countries. The company had 2018 revenues of approximately $10 billion and is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA. For more information, visit www.eastman.com.
DuPont Teijin Films Launches Chemical Recycling Luxcr™ Depolymerisation Process
Last week, DuPont Teijin Films announced the launch of its LuxCR™ depolymerisation process which upcycles post consumer waste into a variety of technically advanced BOPET films serving a wide range of applications and markets. The use of recycled content is a critical part of DuPont Teijin Films’ circular economy strategy, and the upcycling of PET through the LuxCR™ process also marks an important step forward in the chemical recycling technology for the wider polyester industry.
Although mechanical recycling will continue to play an important role in the circular economy, it does have some limitations with regards to the physical and mechanical properties of the recycled product over repeated cycles and also in the food contact compliance area where certain end use applications are temperature restricted.
The LuxCR™ process addresses these two issues by depolymerising mechanically recovered PET flake back into the monomer unit bis(2-hydroxyethylterephthalate) or BHET which is chemically indistinguishable from virgin monomer. This base monomer is subsequently converted into a wide range of BOPET films. Contamination is removed during the process through a combination of monomer and polymer filtration units and by vacuum extraction (several hours at temperatures between 270-300°C).
Although the initial focus for the LuxCR™ process is to provide a feedstock to DuPont Teijin Films’ own film manufacturing lines, feasibility studies are underway to see if the scope can be extended to include the external sale of polymer which would open up the technology to applications such as PET bottles and trays. There is also work ongoing to assess the feasibility of collecting and recycling MYLAR® and MELINEX® post industrial waste from DuPont Teijin Films’ direct customers.
Media Contact: Caroline Wray
+44 (0) 1642 572084
11 April 2019: DuPont Teijin Films via petcore-europe.org