02. Jul 2021
Borealis has entered into a multi-dimensional partnership with Renasci N.V., a provider of innovative recycling solutions and creator of the novel Smart Chain Processing (SCP) concept.
The partnership is another key enabler for Borealis to realise its ambitions to bring circular base chemicals and polyolefins to market, and to deliver on its promise to bring 350 kilotons of recycled polyolefins into circulation by 2025.
Unique SCP concept leaves no waste behind
The SCP concept developed by Renasci is a proprietary method of maximising material recovery in order to achieve zero waste. It is unique because it enables the processing of multiple waste streams using different recycling technologies – all under one roof. At the newly-built Renasci SCP facility in Oostende, Belgium, mixed waste – plastics, metals, and biomass – is automatically selected and sorted multiple times.
After sorting, plastic waste is first mechanically recycled, and then in a second step any remaining material is chemically recycled into circular pyrolysis oil and lighter product fractions, which are used to fuel the process.
Other types of sorted waste such as metals and organic refuse are further processed using other technologies. In the end, only 5% of the original waste remains, and even this residual material is not landfilled, but used as filler in construction materials. Because of this extremely efficient way of processing, the overall CO2 footprint of these waste streams is greatly reduced – yet another advantage of the circular SCP concept.
The cascade model is Borealis’ integrated circular approach
Borealis circular cascade model sits at the heart of its ambition to achieve a truly circular economy, by combining carefully chosen technologies in a complementary and cascading way to achieve full circularity. In this way, Borealis aims to give plastic products multiple lifetimes in the most sustainable way possible. Starting with optimising product design, first for eco-efficiency, then for re-use and finally for recycling. Once a product has reached its end of life, we must close the plastics loop: first with mechanical recycling to make products with the highest possible value, quality and lowest carbon footprint; then utilising chemical recycling, as a complement to mechanical recycling, to further valorise residual streams which would otherwise go to incineration, or even worse to landfills. The valorised material from mechanical and chemical recycling is then processed with Borealis Borcycle™ recycling technology consisting of Borcycle M for mechanical recycling and Borcycle C for chemical recycling, providing high quality solutions for more sophisticated applications, such as food packaging and healthcare.
The SCP concept is aligned to Borealis’ ambition to close the loop on plastic waste as encapsulated in its circular cascade model.
“We, as Borealis, have committed to spearheading the transformation of our industry. Thanks to our partnership with Renasci, exciting times lie ahead with the many future growth opportunities we shall be exploring together - fast forwarding our sustainability and circular economy ambitions," said Borealis Chief Executive Thomas Gangl.
Having acquired a 10% minority stake in the company, Borealis will collaborate closely with Renasci to evolve and scale up the unique SCP technology. This includes the development of future facilities which would source their feedstock entirely from household waste. The two companies also plan to identify and act on other promising investment opportunities in the circular economy sphere. In addition to the recently announced agreement to source the projected 20 kt circular pyrolysis oil annually, Borealis is also planning to purchase mechanically recycled material from Renasci’s Oostende facility.
“In the true spirit of EverMinds, we are accelerating action to plastics circularity through collaboration,” commented Lucrèce Foufopoulos, Borealis Executive Vice President Polyolefins, Innovation & Technology and Circular Economy Solutions. “I’m delighted that in Renasci, we have found a creative partner who shares our ambition and approach of advancing the circular economy with the cascade model at its core. Life demands progress, and with this partnership, we continue re-inventing for more sustainable living.’
“This partnership is a huge leap in the transition to a circular economy: the combination of Borealis’ industry experience and know-how and our innovative SCP concept paves the way for uniquely efficient path to maximum material recovery and zero waste. Joining forces means we can further develop and implement the SCP concept and identify future areas of action to transition to true circularity," concluded Kristof Beuren, Renasci CEO.