Chemical Recycling, Global Status 2020

Chemical Recycling, Global Status 2020

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Published: August 2020

Chemical recycling is developing quickly and has the commitment of large scale polymer producers. Several have recently announced the construction of chemical recycling plants, some with the aim to be operational in 2021. Some of these developments are based on collaborations and/or joint ventures, where the investment brings together technology and supply chain synergies.

Chemical recycling either recovers the polymer without remelting, or breaks it down into its molecular components, which can then be repolymerised. Properties of the final polymer are, in theory, no different to a virgin polymer.

There are three main chemical recycling techniques: Solvent based purification (dissolution), depolymerisation and thermal processing. Within thermal processing there are two alternatives: pyrolysis and gasification. Recycling based on dissolution is, in fact, a physical rather than chemical process as the polymer chain remains intact throughout. The technology has nonetheless been included in the report scope to provide a quantitative comparison between the various technologies.  

Obtain this authoritative report which provides an independent quantitative analysis of the global chemical recycling industry status, and reviews the existing technologies, which are still in their infancy.

The report provides answers the following questions:

  • What is the status of global investment in the chemical recycling technology? What announcements have been made for scaling up capacities in the future?
  • What are the growth drivers – legislative, commercial, environmental?
  • What chemical recycling processes are deployed in recycling plastics and which of them is likely to drive investment initiatives in the future? What are their limitations?
  • As these processes develop will they challenge the waste hierarchy? How is output displacing crude oil, naphtha and BTX feedstocks?
  • What polymer streams can be processed and how?
  • End product quantity and quality – where do these fit into a supply chain?
  • Does chemical and mechanical recycling industries complement or compete with each other?
  • What are the challenges with sourcing and securing feedstock?
  • Who is active in the global chemical recycling value chain and what partnerships have been made to facilitate industry developments?

Process technology employed:

  • Solvent based purification/dissolution (physical recycling)
  • Depolymerisation
  • Thermal processing

The report covers the recycling of:

  • Polyolefins
  • Polyethylene terephthalate  
  • Polystyrene
  • Polyvinyl chloride
  • Other


The geographic scope is the Global market, segmented into:

  • Europe
  • North America
  • Asia
  • Rest of the World

For price information, please complete the enquiry form

The report is supplied as a downloadable PDF with an enterprise-wide license agreement. To receive a proposal, sample pages or for further information please click the Enquire/Order button above.


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