ExxonMobil tests advanced recycling of plastic waste at Baytown

15:30 PM | February 25, 2021 | Robert Westervelt

ExxonMobil has completed the initial phase of a plant trial of an advanced recycling process for converting plastic waste into raw materials for production of polymers. ExxonMobil intends to use results from the trial, at existing facilities in Baytown, Texas, to scale up advanced recycling capabilities at other global facilities, targeting a circular solution for converting difficult-to-recycle plastic waste into feedstocks for virgin-quality plastics.

ExxonMobil also announced today that it has formed a joint venture (JV) with Agilyx's Cyclyx International business to develop solutions for aggregating and pre-processing large volumes of plastic waste that can be converted into feedstocks. ExxonMobil holds a 25% equity interest in Cyclyx with Agilyx owning the remaining 75%. Advanced recycling involves breaking down plastic waste to its molecular building blocks that are then used as raw material in the process of making virgin-quality plastics.

“This advanced recycling initiative brings together the strength of ExxonMobil’s integrated petrochemical facilities and our deep technology expertise in chemical processing to capture value from plastic waste and meet our customers’ growing demand for high-performance, certified circular polymers," says Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Chemical.

Pending successful completion of the next phase of the Baytown plant trial, ExxonMobil Chemical plans to market commercial volumes of certified circular plastics later this year.

Cyclyx will help supply ExxonMobil’s advanced recycling projects and aims to do the same for other customers. “This is a significant milestone for Agilyx and Cyclyx, as it marks the beginning of an entirely new approach to plastic waste recovery,” says Tim Stedman, Agilyx CEO. 

Cyclyx is seeking other companies to join as members, connecting waste producers with advanced and mechanical recyclers. Members could include retailers, brand owners, waste management companies, petrochemical companies, municipalities, and others looking for solutions to address plastic waste in the environment.