Polystyrene
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Agilyx, Kumho Petrochemical partner on chemical recycling plant in South Korea

The facility will produce raw materials for tires out of postuse plastics.

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August 23, 2021

Agilyx Corp., a recycler of postuse plastics based in Tigard, Oregon, has announced a collaboration with Kumho Petrochemical, a manufacturer of synthetic rubber in South Korea. The collaboration will explore the development and construction of a chemical recycling facility in South Korea. 

“We’re very interested in recycling postuse plastics while focusing on utilizing postuse polystyrene into the pure styrene,” says Jong-Hoon Baek, CEO of Kumho Petrochemical. “Collaboration with Agilyx will give Kumho Petrochemical an opportunity of proposing a new line of eco-solution styrene-butadiene rubber (SSBR) products to most of our customers who prefer sustainable products.”

According to a news release from the companies, the project will use Agilyx’s chemical recycling technology to produce pure styrene from postuse polystyrene (PS). This would be used as a virgin equivalent raw material to produce SSBR, a key component for the manufacture of tires, including for the large volume, high-performance tire segment. 

Agilyx says this project marks a new application for its PS depolymerization technology, introducing a new pathway for PS into SSBR. 

“We are pleased to partner with Kumho Petrochemical to explore this project and expand the market for postuse recycled polystyrene into new, high growth and technically demanding applications such as this,” says Tim Stedman, CEO of Agilyx. “The potential to use waste plastic to create high-performance SSBR for the manufacture of tires is a very exciting example of our technology’s ability to create a new life for plastic.”