11 December 2019

DSM and BASF produce prototype of a special adhesive based on plastic waste

December 11, 2019

As part of BASF's ChemCyclingTM project, Royal DSM (DSM) has produced a prototype of a special adhesive based on plastic waste: BASF supplied DSM with a chemical intermediate product that was manufactured using pyrolysis oil obtained by chemically recycling plastic waste.

Recyclable carpets from recycled raw materials thanks to ChemCyclingTM: Sustainability expert Marion da Silva and Key Account Manager Jules Mikhael (both BASF) are pleased to hold the prototypes of the DSM-BASF joint project.

For the production of the intermediate, a certain diol type, BASF feeds the pyrolysis oil into the steam cracker at the beginning of the existing production network, partially replacing fossil raw materials. The steam cracker splits these raw materials at about 850 degrees Celsius and essentially produces ethylene and propylene. From these basic chemicals many chemical products are produced in the BASF Verbund, including the mentioned diol type. BASF calculates the amount of the raw material pyrolysis oil from plastic waste for the production of the diol by means of a certified mass balance method. The diol thus produced is chemically identical to the intermediate produced from fossil raw materials, eliminating the need for a new qualification process. From the diol DSM manufactures special adhesives for the carpet and furniture industry. Due to the special adhesive properties, the bonded components can be separated again if necessary, so that they can be recycled to a sorted recycling.

Andrea Frenzel, President, BASF's Operating Division Intermediates: "Our collaboration will open up new opportunities to save fossil resources and recycle plastic waste. With our ChemCycling pilot project, we demonstrate that we can produce a high-quality, high-performance chemical intermediate using chemically recycled raw materials."

Helen Mets, President, DSM Resins & Functional Materials: "We see ChemCycling as a promising approach to keep materials in the material loop, reduce waste and making us less depended on virgin oil feedstock. Additionally, and most importantly, it is one of the options to reduce our raw material carbon footprint. This pilot shows we can feed the chemical intermediate supplied by BASF into our existing production process bringing us closer to our goal of further increasing the recycling share for our specialty adhesives. To reduce our raw material carbon footprint, and therefore the carbon footprint of our resins, we have set ourselves the goal that, by 2030, at least 30 percent of our products contain bio-based and/or recycled materials."


BASF and ChemCyclingTM

With the ChemCyclingTM project, BASF is further developing the chemical recycling of plastic waste: plastic waste for which no high value recycling processes are established yet, such as mixed or contaminated plastics, is converted into pyrolysis oil by thermochemical processes by partner companies. This secondary raw material can be fed in at the beginning of BASF’s Verbund production. In order to fully develop the market for chemically recycled products, several technological, regulatory and economic issues need to be addressed.

Birgit Hellmann
Global Sustainability Communications
Last Update 11 December 2019