SCS plans to push Pyrowave polystyrene process

Members of the joint industry initiative Styrenics Circular Solutions (SCS) have signed a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with Pyrowave as part of a collaboration that will include an in-depth evaluation of the latter’s depolymerisation technology.

Dr Norbert Niessner, director of global R&D/IP at Ineos Styrolution, and chair of the SCS Technology Working Group, said that its members – which also include Total, Trinseo and Versalis (Eni) – see great potential to use Pyrowave’s patented chemical recycling technology, catalytic microwave depolymerisation.

“The small, flexible microwave units enable a decentralised approach as they can be installed next to existing local sorting facilities, where the waste feedstock can be found,” explained Niessner. “We now will scrutinise the specifics of this proprietary technology to adequately proliferate this process in Europe.”

The Pyrowave technology has been developed over the course of the last decade in order to exploit the ability of polystyrene to be reversed into its building blocks.

Pyrowave’s chief executive Jocelyn Doucet explained that the next step with SCS in Europe is central to furthering the position of the company’s technology.

“We believe that our technology will play a key role helping Europe achieving its sustainability goals while generating a new opportunity for economic growth,” added Doucet.

Jens Kathmann, secretary general of SCS, said: “We see the decentralised approach of Pyrowave’s proprietary depolymerisation technology as highly complementary to the other recycling technologies that we are scaling up in Europe. As such, it fits perfectly into our strategy to actively drive a broader portfolio of technologies ranging from dissolution, to mechanical and chemical recycling suited for food contact. This project is part of our ambition to accelerate the time-to-market and volume of recycled polystyrene in line with the SCS 2020-2025 roadmap.”