PEX pipes are an important contributor to energy-efficient heating and safe plumbing due to their strength, temperature resistance and durability, but the cross-linked polymer chains make them almost impossible to recycle using conventional recycling technologies. The project demonstrates that chemical recycling can close the loop on hard-to-recycle plastic waste, transforming it into high quality polymer feedstock and enabling the subsequent manufacture of products with the same quality and properties as in their previous life.
The collaboration will see Wastewise use its pyrolysis-based chemical recycling technology to liquefy industrial waste from Uponor’s PEX pipe production, breaking down the polymers back into their building blocks to create an oil-like recycled intermediate. This liquid is then co-processed at Neste’s oil refinery in Porvoo, Finland, and upgraded into recycled Neste RE, a drop-in feedstock for the production of new polymers. Borealis feeds this feedstock into its steam cracker, where it is polymerised into polyethylene as part of the company’s Borcycle C chemical recycling portfolio. Finally, Uponor uses the polyethylene to make new PEX pipe systems, which can then be reused in the building sector for heating, plumbing and cooling purposes – even for sensitive applications with high requirements, such as drinking water systems. The entire value chain is traceable through an ISCC PLUS certified mass balance.
[…] Meanwhile, recycling company Neste has partnered with Uponor, Wastewise and Borealis on chemical recycling of hard-to-recycle plastic waste. The partners have successfully produced cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) pipes using feedstock derived from chemically recycled post-industrial plastic waste from PEX pipe production. PEX pipes are an important contributor to energy-efficient heating and safe plumbing. The partners say the project shows how chemical recycling can close the loop on plastic waste, transforming it into high quality polymer feedstock and enabling the subsequent manufacture of products with the same qualities and properties. (Recycling Magazine) […]