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5/11/2020 | 1 MINUTE READ

Nova Chemicals and Enerkem to Jointly Research New Advanced Recycling Catalyst Technology

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Working together, the companies will research advanced recycling technology to transform hard-to-recycle municipal waste, including items such as plastics, household waste, and construction materials, into ethylene at full commercial scale.

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Enerkem plant

Enerkem Alberta Biofuels (EAB) plant located in Edmonton. It is the world’s first major collaboration between a large city and an innovative waste-to-biofuels producer. 

Nova Chemicals and Enerkem Inc., a waste to renewable fuels and chemicals producer, have entered into a joint development agreement to explore turning non-recyclable and non-compostable municipal waste into ethylene, a basic building block of plastics.

Working together, the companies will research advanced recycling technology to transform hard-to-recycle municipal waste, including items such as plastics, household waste, and construction materials, into ethylene at full commercial scale. Ethylene, produced from waste, could advance a plastics circular economy and help meet consumer brand goals for recycled content in packaging.

Advanced recycling technologies are an important component of moving to zero plastic waste by creating valuable new feedstocks from post-use plastics that cannot be easily mechanically recycled. The companies say the quality of polymers produced with advanced recycling products is indistinguishable from those made from 100% virgin, fossil-based feedstocks.

“We are excited to work with Enerkem to create innovative, sustainable solutions for a plastics circular economy,” said Todd Karran, president and CEO, Nova Chemicals. “Our R&D teams will collaborate to develop game changing technology to push the boundaries for recycling waste to create new feedstocks and bring value to the environment, economy and society.”

Enerkem is reportedly the first company in the world to produce renewable methanol and ethanol from non-recyclable, non-compostable municipal solid waste at full commercial scale. Its current technologies replace the use of fossil sources like petroleum and natural gas to produce sustainable transportation fuels and chemicals that are used in a broad range of everyday products.

“We are delighted to team up with Nova Chemicals to collaborate on new technology for waste-to-ethylene feedstock to solve one of the world's most pressing environmental issues,” said Dominique Boies, CEO and CFO, Enerkem. “This strategic partnership will allow us to explore the development of new products and expand our offering in pursuit of the circular economy.”

Nova Chemicals is committed to enabling 100% of plastics packaging is recyclable or recoverable by 2030; and 100% of plastics packaging is re-used, recycled or recovered by 2040.

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