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Honeywell, Avangard Form Joint Venture to Build Advanced Recycling Plant in Texas

Image: Alamy/Doncho Donev plastic caps for recycling
The facility will be the first in the United States to deploy Honeywell’s UpCycle Process technology, which uses molecular conversion, pyrolysis, and contaminants management to convert waste plastic back to recycled polymer feedstock.

Honeywell and Avangard Innovative will form a joint venture to build an advanced recycling plant in Texas to turn end-of-life plastic waste into recycled polymer feedstock to make new plastics. The companies announced their plans on Jan. 27, 2022.

The facility, which will be built on an existing Avangard site in Waller, TX, will use Honeywell’s recently announced UpCycle Process technology, which expands the types of plastics that can be recycled. The technology reduces the need for fossil fuels in the making of virgin plastics and enables “hundreds of cycles of recycling, with the goal of enabling a circular economy for plastics,” the company said.

Honeywell’s UpCycle Process uses molecular conversion, pyrolysis, and contaminants management to convert waste plastic back to Honeywell recycled polymer feedstock, which is used to create new plastics. It expands the types of plastics that can be recycled to include waste plastic that would otherwise go unrecycled, including colored, flexible, multilayered packaging and polystyrene.

When used in conjunction with other chemical and mechanical recycling processes — and with improvements to collection and sorting — the UpCycle Process has the potential to increase the amount of global plastic waste that can be recycled to 90% from only 15% today, the company said.

The company did not reply to a question asking if this advanced recycling will be profitable or if it is an exercise to demonstrate its technology and leadership in recycling.

Avangard Innovative, which claims to be the largest plastics recycler in the Americas, will be the first to deploy the UpCycle Process technology in the United States. The joint venture will co-own and operate a facility within Avangard’s NaturaPCR complex in Waller, TX. The advanced recycling plant is expected to have the capacity to transform 30,000 metric tons of mixed waste plastics into Honeywell recycled polymer feedstock per year. Production is expected to begin in 2023.

“Partnering with companies that have recycling and waste management experience allows Honeywell to help close the loop within the plastics supply chain by bringing the recycling technology onsite to the collection source,” said Vimal Kapur, President and CEO of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies.

“Working with Honeywell on a joint advanced recycling plant allows Avangard Innovative to reinforce its mission to preserve and protect the environment by targeting zero waste to landfill,” said Rick Perez, CEO, Avangard Innovative. “The Honeywell solution employs a modular approach to plant design, enabling a straightforward deployment and installation, while striking the right balance between economy of scale and amount of waste plastic generated locally.”

This agreement expands on Honeywell’s recent announcement of its intent to form a joint venture with Sacyr, a Spain-based global engineering and services company with operations in more than 20 countries. That joint venture proposed building an advanced recycling plant in Andalucía, Spain, which is expected to have the capacity to transform 30,000 metric tons per year of mixed waste plastics into Honeywell recycled polymer feedstock.

Honeywell’s UpCycle Process technology was created within Honeywell’s Sustainable Technology Solutions business, which is part of Honeywell UOP, an American multi-national company developing and delivering technology to the petroleum refining, gas processing, petrochemical production, and major manufacturing industries.

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