US ExxonMobil eyes ’24 FID on chem-recycling plant, other projects

Al Greenwood


HOUSTON (ICIS)–ExxonMobil expects to make in 2024 a final investment decision (FID) on a chemical recycling plant and two other projects, the company said on Friday.

The company’s ExxonMobil Baton Rouge division in Louisiana is considering the chemical recycling plant as well as a unit that will produce ultra-pure isopropyl alcohol (IPA), also known as isopropanol, and a polyolefin thermoset resin plant based on technology developed by Materia, a business acquired in 2021, the company said.

“The final investment decision will be in 2024; we are currently assessing the scope and economics of each opportunity and competing for investment dollars on a global level,” ExxonMobil said.

The company already has a commercial scale chemical recycling plant at its complex in Baytown, Texas, US.

That plant started up in late 2022, and it is able to process more than 36,000 tonnes/year of plastic waste.

The plant relies on ExxonMobil’s Exxtend process technology, in which the plastic is heated under a limited oxygen environment to produce pyrolysis oil or naphtha-like products to be used in the production of petrochemical products.

The polyolefin thermoset resin is branded as Proxima, and it is based on dicyclopentadiene (DCPD). The resin is designed to be alternative to epoxy resins, vinyl ester resins and unsaturated polyester resins (UPR).

The materials can be used in a number of applications, including wind turbine blades, electric vehicle parts, construction and anticorrosive coatings.

The resins are based on olefin metathesis catalyst discoveries made by Robert Grubbs and his research team at the California Institute of Technology. Grubbs received the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for these discoveries.

The acquisition includes Materia’s headquarters and technology centre in Pasadena, California and its manufacturing facility in Huntsville, Texas.

Additional reporting by Stefan Baumgarten and Emily Friedman

Thumbnail shows plastic. Image by RICHARD VOGEL/AP/Shutterstock


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