hand holding total styrene plastic
TotalEnergies says it intends to use end products from the proposed facility “to manufacture high-quality polymers suitable for food-grade applications.”
Photo courtesy of TotalEnergies

TotalEnergies to build chemical recycling plant in Texas

French petrochemical firm will use New Hope Energy technology at 310,000-ton-per-year plant.

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May 19, 2022

France-based TotalEnergies and Texas-based New Hope Energy have signed a commercial agreement under which New Hope Energy will build a chemical recycling plant in the Lone Star state, the two companies say.

At the plant, plastic scrap will be converted into “a recycled feedstock that TotalEnergies will partly purchase and convert into virgin-quality polymers, which can be used for food-grade packaging,” the French petrochemical firm says.

New Hope Energy describes itself as “a pioneer in the field of chemical recycling.” The company has been operating a facility in Tyler, Texas, since 2018, with an expansion underway that it says will make that plant “the largest pyrolysis facility in the world.”

The TotalEnergies/New Hope Energy plant is expected to start production in 2025 and will use what the companies call a patented pyrolysis technology that was developed in partnership with Houston-based Lummus Technology.

The new plant, for which a site has not yet been selected or disclosed, will process and convert more than 310,000 tons per year of mixed plastic scrap that TotalEnergies says “would otherwise be destined for landfill or incineration.”

TotalEnergies will then use 100,000 tons of what it is calling recycled polymer feedstock (RPF) produced at the new facility at its Texas-based production units “to manufacture high-quality polymers suitable for food-grade applications such as flexible and rigid food packaging containers.”

Last year, United States-based Dow announced it had established a multiyear agreement with New Hope Energy for its Tyler facility to supply Dow with pyrolysis oil feedstocks derived from plastics recycled there.

Valérie Goff, senior vice president of polymers at TotalEnergies, says, “We are pleased to partner with New Hope Energy, which offers a promising technology and the ability to scale. This new project is another concrete and significant step TotalEnergies is taking to address the challenge of plastic recycling and meet our goal of producing 30 percent circular polymers by 2030.”

Rusty Combs, CEO of New Hope Energy, adds, “TotalEnergies understands the need to increase recycling in the U.S. and abroad, and [its] 2030 renewable polymer goal is a testament [to its] commitment to the circular economy. Our partnership with Lummus has allowed us to provide the scale and reliability necessary to support them in this mission.”

“The ability to effectively and economically convert waste plastics to pyrolysis oil for further use is a critical step in achieving a true circular economy,” says Leon de Bruyn, president and CEO of pyrolysis technology provider Lummus. “Supporting TotalEnergies in reaching [its] sustainability goals is exactly what our integrated processing solutions are designed to do.”