Shell to use more plastic waste feedstock to produce petchems in US – exec

Joseph Chang

10-May-2022

JERSEY CITY (ICIS)–Shell plans to use more plastic waste feedstock to produce chemicals at its Norco, Louisiana, cracker, executives said on Tuesday.

Shell has a goal of consuming 1m tonnes/year of plastic waste by 2025 globally to produce circular products.

“We’ve been cracking pyrolysis oil since 2019, using mixed PE (polyethylene), PP (polypropylene) and PS (polystyrene) waste. The waste is put into a reactor and vapours condensed into a full spectrum pyrolysis oil,” said Helmut Brenner, sustainability manager, Americas at Shell.

Brenner spoke at the 12th ICIS World Surfactants Conference and to ICIS on the sidelines of the conference.

The pyrolysis oil consists of three major fractions – naphtha, fuel oil and wax – which are then fed into the Norco cracker to produce ethylene, propylene as well as butadiene, he noted.

Shell works with technology partners globally that collect the plastic waste and convert this into pyrolysis oil. Shell removes contaminants from the pyrolysis oil before feeding this into the cracker, said Brenner.

The company can also feed the ethylene into its adjacent Geismar, Louisiana, complex via pipeline to produce other products such as monoethylene glycol (MEG), he noted.

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