BASF Invests In Pyrolysis

Two recent deals advance the German chemical company’s ChemCycling project

BASF SE based in Ludwigshafen, Germany is investing €16 million into Pyrum Innovations AG, a technology company specializing in the pyrolysis of waste tires. The investment, according to BASF will support the expansion of Pyrum’s pyrolysis plant in Dillingen, Germany and help advance roll out of the technology.

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Pyrum is currently running a pyrolysis plant that can process up to 10,000 tons of tires per year with plans for two additional production lines by the end of 2022, according to the companies. BASF will purchase Pyrum’s pyrolysis oil and process it into new chemical products by using a mass balance approach as part of its ChemCycling project. The resulting products will mainly be for customers from the plastics industry who are looking for high-quality and functional plastics based on recycled materials.

BASF’s ChemCycling project launched in 2018 and focuses on chemically reprocessing post-consumer plastic waste on an industrial scale. The first commercial products produced as part of the project were placed in the market in 2020.

While the focus of the ChemCycling project is the use of mixed plastic waste, BASF also sees an opportunity to increase recycling rates for end-of-life tires (ELT’s).

“So far, there was no technology that allowed the recycling of pyrolysis oil from tires into high value applications. By further broadening our raw material base to waste tires, we can create a new circular value stream,” ChemCycling Project Leader Dr. Christian Lach said.

For Pyrum, the collaborative set-up will help assure future investors in the technology can have the certainty that the pyrolysis oil produced will be taken up by BASF to
produce high-performance chemical products.

BASF and Pyrum anticipate that production capacities of up to 100,000 tons of pyrolysis oil derived from waste tires could be built up within the next years together with additional partners.

“After twelve years of hard work Pyrum is proud to finally be accepted by the market. We are confident that we will become one of the market leaders in tire recycling with BASF’s investment,” Pascal Klein, Founder and CEO of Pyrum, said.

For it’s part, BASF remains committed to leading the transition of the plastics industry to a circular economy. “With the investment, we have taken another significant step towards establishing a broad supply base for pyrolysis oil ,” Hartwig Michels, President of BASF’s Petrochemicals division said

BASF also recently signed a purchase agreement for the supply of tire derived pyrolysis oil with New Energy, a tire pyrolysis technology company headquartered in Budapest, Hungary.

According to the agreement, New Energy will supply BASF with up to 4,000 metric tons of tire derived pyrolysis oil per year.

In a pilot phase program, BASF is successfully using New Energy’s pyrolysis oil, replacing fossil resources in an integrated chemical production process at its Verbund facility in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The share of recycled raw material is allocated to certain products manufactured in the Verbund facility by using a third-party accredited mass balance approach.

Products made from pyrolysis oil by using a mass balance approach have the exact same properties as products manufactured with primary fossil resources. Customers can therefore process them in the same way as conventionally manufactured high quality and performance standards, such as automotive parts, Dr. Lach said.

BASF and New Energy are both committed to work on pollutions for the global plastic waste problem and have signed an agreement for a feasibility study that targets the adaption of New Energy’s pyrolysis technology to the conversion of other plastic waste streams.

© Scrap Tire News, October 2020