Alternative Energy

The start of chemical recycling in Denmark

21st May 2020
Alex Lynn

Resource management company Geminor has announced that in the coming weeks it will deliver the first 500 tonnes of LDPE plastic to Quantafuel's factory in Skive, Denmark. The load represents the beginning of chemical recycling of waste plastics in Europe.

In March 2019, the technology-based energy company Quantafuel and resource management company Geminor signed an agreement that secures steady shipments of waste plastics for Quantafuel's chemical recycling plant in Skive.

 

As of this week, the first 500 tonnes of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is ready for delivery. This is a type of plastic often used to produce plastic bags, cling film and similar plastic consumer goods. At the Danish plant, the waste plastic will become chemical feedstock for the production of new and recycled plastic products.

Country Manager of Geminor DK, Kasper Thomsen, explained: “The first plastic deliveries come from two suppliers, Danish ‘Dansk Avfallsminimering’ in Randers and ‘RenoNord’ in Aalborg. The plastic we receive is high-quality residual plastic waste that cannot be mechanically recycled, and is clean enough for chemical recycling. During the start-up phase, Quantafuel needs low-moisture fractions to optimize the operation, says Thomsen.

The Skive production plant will receive around 20,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year. The capacity is expected to increase considerably in Denmark over the next few years.

Thomsen added: “Chemical recycling of plastics will significantly increase the overall recycling rate, but also reduce the proportion of waste plastic that goes to incineration. Danish plastic waste is important in this respect, but we will also need to find more custom plastic among European suppliers who can ensure the right quality.

“The growing interest in chemical recycling of waste plastic is probably linked to stricter regulations for material recycling, but also due to the growing focus on circular economies. Chemical recycling is in a very exciting phase, and we believe that this process can be important in order to reach the EU's Green Deal ambitions in the coming decade.”

Thomas Steenbuch Tharaldsen, CSO of Quantafuel, said: “The chemical recycling of waste plastic is getting attention both in Denmark and in the international waste industry. The production is fully in line with the EU's environmental ambitions and objectives. Together with Geminor we will now find more industry players in Denmark and Europe who share our vision of solving the plastic problem.”

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