A global boutique consultancy, we serve our clients in two ways: via client directed projects (TCG Consulting) and via various programs and studies (TCG Resources).

Plastics Recycling and the Circular Economy II: A Perspective on Chemical Recycling Technologies and the Impact on Catalysis


TCGR Documenting Current State-of-Art (SoA) in Plastics Recycling Technology and
Commercial Development and Identifying Opportunities to Address Unmet Needs…

View Updated Proposal Here (PDF format) 

Plastics Recycling and the Circular Economy II:
A Perspective on Chemical Recycling Technologies and the Impact on Catalysis

The challenge faced by plastics is not in how they are used, but in the end-of-life management of products made from plastic. In our June 2020 study, Plastics Recycling and the Circular Economy: Catalytic and Compatibilization Solutions, TCGR assessed both emerging and commercial technologies for the chemical recycling, upcycling, and compatibilization of plastics waste. While depolymerization technologies for PET and PS are rapidly becoming the norm, the inertness of polyolefins presents challenges in chemical recycling. Choice of recycling technology is not yet well defined, leading to a proliferation of ideas from purification technologies to recover virgin polymers to partial or full depolymerization, often with the aid of catalysts.

Based on initial feedback from the industry, this new study is designed to identify and assess new recycling technologies and determine the impact that they will have on the catalyst industry. It will address current state-of-art (SoA) in technology and commercial development. The study will also provide a techno-economic analysis of the most promising recycling technologies in the late stages of development or early stages of commercialization. In this study, TCGR will:

  • Define the current status of leading technologies
  • Identify hurdles for greater adoption of recycling technologies
  • Examine future prospects for leading and emerging recycling technologies
  • Assess the impact of these technologies on polymerization catalysts
  • Assess the impact of these technologies on new catalysts and adsorbents

Interest in chemical recycling is growing, as introducing recycled plastics earlier into the supply chain, as either monomer or raw material for monomer production (see Figure 1) eliminates these issues.

Figure 1 – Value Chain of Fossil-based Plastics

Source: CEFIC 2020

In this assessment, TCGR will review state of the art technologies for chemical and recycling approaches. Special consideration will be given to approaches with high technology readiness for chemical recycling of polyolefins including life cycle analyses and implied technoeconomics. TCGR will also expand on how these technologies will impact future demands on catalysts and absorbent technologies.   Through a comprehensive assessment of leading technologies, TCGR will be able to define the potential of chemical recycling for polyolefins. Through TCGR’s economic analyses of chemical recycling processes as well as through a life-cycle analysis, the suitability of various approaches towards recycling plastics will be gauged for meeting the requirements for a circular plastics economy.

TCGR’s assessment is a “must have,” industrially sourced analysis for addressing the current industry needs from olefin and resin producers, process licensors and catalyst and adsorbent suppliers from a practical perspective.  This study, “for the industry, by the industry,” is scheduled for completion in August 2022.

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As it does in each of its industrially-focused multi-client studies, TCGR has sought input from “charter” subscribers (i.e., those who signed up prior to study launch)
to help shape the report’s final scope/TofC so that it covers and emphasizes
the most pertinent content due to the rapid progress in plastics recycling that might be
of interest
, as depicted in Sections III-V  in the revised/expanded TofC. 

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Notice to Subscribers:

Due to the complementary nature of this study to TCGR’s previous report in this area, namely Plastics Recycling and the Circular Economy: Catalytic and Compatibilization Solutions completed in June 2020, TCGR is offering a discount of $1,000 off Plastics Recycling and the Circular Economy II: A Perspective on Chemical Recycling Technologies and the Impact on Catalysis to subscribers of that study. Subscribers are requested to contact Steve Deutsch at +1 215.628.4447 or sdeutsch@catalystgrp.com if further details are required or to determine if your organization is entitled. When completing the order form, please make sure to indicate your company’s subscription to the earlier report.  

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Additional information, including the updated study proposal, the preliminary Table of Contents and the Order Form,
is available via the link below or by contacting Steve Deutsch at +1.215.628.4447 or sdeutsch@ catalystgrp.com.

Download PDF

The Catalyst Group Resources (TCGR), a member of The Catalyst Group, is dedicated to monitoring and analyzing technical and commercial developments in catalysis as they apply to the global refining, petrochemical, fine/specialty chemical, pharmaceutical, polymer/elastomer and environmental industries.