Ineos Styrolution America LLC, a polystyrene (PS) manufacturer based in Aurora, Illinois, has experienced some delays in the development of its PS recycling plant in Channahon, Illinois, says Cassie Bradley, the company’s sustainability manager. The facility is expected to open in about three years.
Bradley says the plant is still in the development and engineering stages. This is because Ineos was not able to get people out for engineering surveys in light of the pandemic. Bradley says the company wanted to make sure it follows COVID-19 protocols and kept its workers safe last year.
The plant is part of a partnership between Ineos and Agilyx. The 100-ton-per-day facility will use Agilyx chemical recycling technology to convert discarded PS into virgin-equivalent styrene monomer through depolymerization, Bradley says.
“We want to show that depolymerization is viable with polystyrene and it can be operated at scale,” Bradley says. “We hope this will demonstrate that the value chain does exist.”
Bradley says the company will source and supply plastic scrap feedstock for the facility through Agilyx’s recently formed Cyclyx subsidiary.
“Discarded single-use items like polystyrene foam cups and yogurt cups can now go right back to the same applications over and over at the same purity and performance with no need to landfill,” says Greg Fordyce, president Americas for Ineos Styrolution. “We are excited to join forces with AmSty on this ambitious project, which we expect will elevate polystyrene as a sustainable material of choice. In particular, this facility will dramatically increase recycling rates in the greater Chicago area.”