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Quantafuel chemical recycling turns plastic waste into a raw material

Quantafuel chemically recycles mixed plastic waste, transforming it into a raw material for new plastic products. This reduces the need for virgin oil and promotes the circular economy of plastics.Published 14 Dec 2022 (updated 7 Feb 2024) · 2 min read

The world is facing a plastic pollution crisis. Only 14 per cent of plastics are estimated to be recycled worldwide, with some 40 per cent ending up in landfills, 14 per cent going to incineration, and 32 per cent ending up in unmanaged dumps.

Moreover, most of Europe’s plastic waste can no longer be exported due to changes in national policies and international regulations. European countries must find ways to deal sustainably with their own waste at home.

Chemical recycling of plastic waste into feedstock

Quantafuel has developed a process that converts plastic waste into a high-quality liquid, which can then be used to produce new plastic products and chemicals.

The process is based on chemical recycling, a relatively new technology that complements conventional mechanical recycling. Chemical recycling is the only technology that can upcycle mixed plastic waste into feedstock for food-grade plastic.

What makes Quantafuel unique is its proprietary catalytic process that results in a recycled raw material free from impurities.

Concrete benefits

Quantafuel tackles the plastic waste problem with a sustainable process that removes plastic waste from the environment, reduces other forms of pollution from incineration and landfills, and reduces energy consumption.

In addition, chemical recycling is well suited for handling mixed and soiled plastic waste, which is unfit for mechanical recycling. This allows for a larger share of all plastic waste to be recycled. Even more importantly, it replaces virgin oil and gas in the petrochemical industry.

Quantafuel also contributes to the circular economy of plastics. In Denmark alone, Quantafuel has the potential to process about 35 per cent of the plastic that becomes waste every year.

Market potential

The recycled plastic market is expected to reach USD 72.6 billion by 2026, fuelled by demand from governments, businesses and consumers for greener alternatives to conventional plastics. The European Commission, for example, has set a target of 50 per cent recycling of plastic packaging by 2025.

Quantafuel opened the world’s first plastic-to-liquid plant in Skive, Denmark, in September 2020. The plant will process over 20 000 metric tons of mixed plastic waste from Denmark and Norway and produce about 16 000 metric tons of recycled feedstock. This will then be transported to its partner, BASF in Germany, for the production of plastic products.

Quantafuel aims to establish several new chemical recycling plants throughout Europe and beyond with a combined annual capacity of 300 000 metric tons of mixed plastic waste.

At a glance

  • Chemical recycling of mixed plastic waste
  • Turns plastic waste into food-grade plastic feedstock
  • Reduces plastic pollution and eliminates the need for virgin plastic

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Idar Alvestad

Lead Product Manager

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Industry, innovation and infrastructure

9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure

About the goal

Quantafuel increases resource-use efficiency and helps to make the petrochemical industry more sustainable.

Responsible consumption and production

12. Responsible consumption and production

About the goal

Quantafuel contributes to the circular economy by recycling plastic waste that would otherwise be incinerated or landfilled.

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