ExxonMobil to construct large-scale chemical recycling plant in Texas

The company expects operations to begin at its Texas plant by the end of 2022.

October 12, 2021

ExxonMobil Corp., Irving, Texas, has announced plans to build its first large-scale postuse plastic advanced recycling facility in Baytown, Texas. The company says it expects to begin operations at the facility by the end of 2022.

ExxonMobil reports that it wants to use this facility to help address the challenge of plastic waste in the environment. According to a news release from ExxonMobil, a smaller, temporary facility already operates and is producing commercial volumes of certified circular polymers that will be marketed by the end of this year.

“We’ve proven our proprietary advanced recycling technology in Baytown, and we’re scaling up operations to supply certified circular polymers by year-end,” says Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Co. “Availability of reliable advanced recycling capacity will play an important role in helping address plastic waste in the environment, and we are evaluating wide-scale deployment in other locations around the world.” 

The company has performed an initial trial of its proprietary process for converting plastic scrap into raw materials. According to ExxonMobil, the trial recycled more than 1,000 metric tons of plastic scrap and has demonstrated the capability of processing 50 metric tons per day.

Upon completion of the large-scale facility, the operation will have the capacity to recycle 30,000 metric tons of plastic scrap per year. ExxonMobil says it anticipates that operational capacity could be expanded if policy and regulations that recognize the lifecycle benefits of advanced recycling are implemented for residential and industrial plastic scrap collection and sorting systems.

The company also plans to build about 500,000 metric tons of advanced recycling capacity globally over the next five years. In Europe, the company is collaborating with Plastic Energy on an advanced recycling plant in Notre Dame de Gravechon, France, which is expected to process 25,000 metric tons of plastic scrap per year when it starts in 2023, with the potential for further expansion to 33,000 metric tons of annual capacity. The company also is assessing sites in the Netherlands, the U.S. Gulf Coast, Canada and Singapore.

ExxonMobil also has formed a joint venture with Agilyx Corp., Cyclyx International LLC, focused on developing solutions for aggregating and preprocessing large volumes of plastic scrap that can be converted into feedstocks for products. The company reports that Cyclyx will help to supply its advanced recycling projects.