SEOUL -- Hanwha Solutions, a renewable energy service provider in South Korea, has been selected for a national project to develop a green technology capable of chemically recycling waste plastic by 2024 to produce naphtha based on pyrolysis oil, sometimes known as bio-crude, which is a synthetic fuel obtained by heating dried biomass without oxygen.
Pyrolysis is a chemical recycling process that can convert plastics into high-quality oil. Chemical recycling is an attractive way to address the explosive growth of plastic waste and disposal problems. To build a plastic virtuous cycle economy, South Korea has emphasized processing technology to use pyrolysis oil extracted from waste plastic as a raw material for plastic products.
The project led by Hanwha Solutions, a unit of South Korea's Hanwha Group, involves the state-run Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER), the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH), the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST), Chonnam National University and Hanwha Total Petrochemicals.
In cooperation with KIER, Hanwha Solutions will develop catalysts and processes, which are key technologies that can improve the quality of naphtha by removing impurities from pyrolysis oil. Hanwha Total will verity commercialization.
By 2024, the project calls for the design of a commercial process that can produce 30,000 tons of naphtha annually with waste plastic after going through a pilot project of one ton per day. Sohn In-wan, head of Hanwha Solutions' future technology research center, said that PTC (plastic to chemicals) recycling is an eco-friendly technology that South Korea must secure.
"In addition to PTC, we will focus on commercializing various future technologies to solve environmental problems such as biodegradable materials and bioplastics," Sohn said. The parent Hanwha group is nurturing green hydrogen as one of its next growth engines.
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