Nalco Water Presents on
Advanced Recycling for Plastics at SPE Conference
- Nalco Water’s senior marketing manager, Dave Smith, presented on Advanced Recycling for Plastics, focusing on research on pyrolysis oils at the SPE International Polyolefins Conference.
- The program offers multiple solutions that work together to support feedstock stability and flowability, protecting infrastructure and avoiding costly retrofitting.
- The solutions have already enabled companies to process alternative feedstocks, demonstrating its potential positive impact on the energy industry by reusing plastic to reduce carbon emissions.
At the annual SPE International Polyolefins Conference in early March, Dave Smith, senior marketing manager of the Global Chemical division for Nalco Water, an Ecolab company, presented on advanced recycling method for processing and transporting pyrolysis oil, an alternative feedstock that has been shown to significantly reduce carbon emissions over other traditional feedstocks, such as petroleum naphtha.
The current plastic production rate is around 380 million tons per year, much of which becomes pollutants, adversely affecting the natural environment and oceans. To counter this issue, many companies, governments and citizens around the world have started adopting a "circular economy" approach. Advanced recyclers of plastic waste have begun to produce an alternate feedstock — pyrolysis oil — for ethylene producers and refiners. This alternative feedstock, which utilizes recycled plastic waste, can be difficult to process and transport, which creates new challenges within its operations.
Smith’s presentation included laboratory test results of various recycled plastic feedstocks and discussions on the challenges faced by chemical manufacturers when processing them. Smith highlighted the sustainability gains achieved through advanced plastic recycling, emphasizing that this method could help ethylene producers and chemical recyclers meet their sustainability goals and reduce environmental impact.
"As the chemical industry looks to reduce its environmental footprint, advanced plastic recycling is emerging as a key solution," Smith said. “We are not only conserving valuable resources but also taking a bold step towards a more sustainable and circular economy.”
The Nalco Water program includes:
- Chemical solutions to help with the production, storage and transportation of recycled plastic feedstock
- Consulting on program implementation, seasonal variabilities, asset protection and future scaling potential
- Continuous research and development to optimize operations
These solutions work together to support feedstock stability and flowability, protecting refining and chemical processing infrastructure from fouling and corrosion. The program also includes monitoring capabilities and consultative expertise to optimize plant performance when processing pyrolysis oil, providing a comprehensive solution for companies.
In addition, the solutions enable companies to preserve their existing equipment, avoiding the need for costly retrofitting of operations for feedstock transportation. This approach translates into lower capital costs and a more efficient use of resources, making this a cost-effective option for companies seeking to reduce their environmental impact while preserving their infrastructure.
Nalco Water has already leveraged existing partnerships with major ethylene producers and advanced recyclers of plastic waste in North America and Europe. Early trials with the solutions have successfully enabled companies to process the recycled plastic feedstock.
"By offering a suite of chemistries and field expertise that is unique to the downstream energy and chemical markets, we are enabling companies to reduce their environmental impact while preserving their existing infrastructure and reducing capital costs," Dave said. "We are excited about the potential of this program and the positive impact it can have on the industry."
"By offering a suite of chemistries and field expertise that is unique to the downstream energy and chemical markets, we are enabling companies to reduce their environmental impact while preserving their existing infrastructure and reducing capital costs."
Senior Marketing Manager, Global Chemical