Synova, SABIC, Technip Energies join forces to accelerate plastic circularity

December 1, 2022 |

From Netherlands comes news that Synova, SABIC Global Technologies and Technip Energies  have signed a Joint Development and Cooperation Agreement on November 23, 2022 to collaborate on the development and realization of a commercial plant, which will produce olefins and aromatics from plastic waste. 

In support of Synova and the collaboration, SABIC’s affiliate SABIC Ventures US Holdings LLC has become an investor in Synova. Synova will use their investment to enhance the development of its technology and to strengthen its engineering capabilities.

The project

The plant will use a combined technology developed by Synova and T.EN and will be integrated with one of SABIC’s steam crackers. As such, the plant will contribute to SABIC’s vision of closing the loop on used plastic.

The combined technology includes Synova’s proprietary solids cracking technology (MILENA) in combination with its gas conditioning and tars removal technology (OLGA) for the conversion of plastic waste into product gas, which contains high value chemicals. The Synova technology is combined with T.EN’s proprietary gas treatment technology (Pure.rGas) to remove contaminants from the product gas and purify it to bring the final products up to a specification compatible with processing in a steam cracker downstream of the cracker furnace. The combined technology efficiently converts plastic waste into high value chemicals, enabling an efficient plastic circularity route and significant reduction of greenhouse gas emission.

The MILENA backstory

Scientists at ECN first developed the MILENA process, an indirect gasification concept that combines circulating fluidized bed, pyrolysis and bubbling fluidized bed combustion in one vessel in 1998. Six years of testing, design, patent application and engineering followed before a 30 kWth lab-scale unit was installed in 2004. An 800 kWth pilot followed in 2008. Together, the two gasifiers accumulated more than 5,000 hours of run time.

MILENA was initially designed to process biomass into a highly efficient producer gas suitable for use in gas engines and turbines. Woody biomass could also be used as a substitute in natural gas production. Refuse-derived fuel (RDF) was also an acceptable feedstock for MILENA.

The OLGA gas cleanup train was developed by ECN as a complement to MILENA. The disadvantage to MILENA’s highly efficient process was that it resulted in a high tar content in the gas. Tars had long been the Achilles’ heel of the waste-to-energy industry, preventing many technologies from reaching commercial scale. The design of OLGA results in a world-class clean up train that recycles the tars removed from the gas into the MILENA combustor. The result is a highly efficient process that leaves no tar waste. The OLGA pilot was coupled with the MILENA pilot in 2009.

The Technip waste plastic backstory

In September, Technip Energies and APChemi announced a cooperation agreement to commercialize APChemi’s advanced plastic waste to high quality pyrolysis oil technology, in conjunction with Technip Energies’ pyrolysis oil upgradation and steam cracking technology. More on that here.

And in April, Technip Energies and Alterra signed a global joint development and collaboration agreement to integrate Alterra’s commercially available liquefaction process technology with Technip Energies’ pyrolysis oil purification technology to maximize adoption of recycled feedstock and improve circular economy solutions for the global petrochemical industry. Alterra provides an innovative, patented, thermochemical liquefaction, converting hard-to-recycle plastic into pyrolysis based oil. The combination of both companies’ solutions ensures Alterra’s recycled PyOil is drop-in ready feedstock to further accelerate the replacement of hydrocarbon-based oil with recycled feedstock in the production of new plastic-based materials.

Reaction from the stakeholders

Jörg Krüger, CEO and Managing Director at Synova, said: ”I am thrilled that SABIC has joined Synova as investor and development partner. This proves the confidence SABIC has in our team and our technology. The SABIC investment follows the completion of an in depth technical due diligence process. The Joint Development and Cooperation Agreement clearly defines the next steps that SABIC, T.EN, and Synova will execute together to successfully build a commercial scale chemical recycling plant to improve plastic circularity.”

Frederik Hoornaert, General Manager Chemicals Technology & Innovation at SABIC, said: ” We are excited about this collaboration with Synova and Technip Energies because it fits perfectly into our ambition on circularity, part of our flagship TRUCIRCLE program. We were the first in our industry to commit to the upscaling of the advanced recycling of used plastics. This new cooperation is another example of our commitment and we believe this technology can play a major role in converting lower quality mixed plastic waste into virgin olefins.”

Bhaskar Patel, SVP Business Line Sustainable Fuels, Chemicals and Circularity, at Technip Energies, stated: ”We are excited to work together with SABIC and Synova on this opportunity to bring circularity for plastic waste to reality. Building on the cooperation Technip Energies already has with Synova, we are looking forward to joining forces with SABIC and supporting their ambition in the field of circularity by providing our technological expertise for the purification of pyrolysis gas together with our engineering skillsets for a successful commercial plant.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Top Stories

Thank you for visting the Digest.