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The partnership initially will support commercialization of Alterra Energy’s proprietary chemical recycling technology in Europe.

Clare Goldsberry

January 4, 2021

2 Min Read
chemical recycling plant
Alterra Energy's liquefaction plant in Akron, OH.Image: Alterra

Finland-based Neste, a provider of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, has acquired a minority stake in Alterra Energy, a chemical recycling company located in Akron, OH. Neste’s equity investment will support Alterra Energy’s expansion.

The collaboration between the companies will include joint technology development and global licensing, enabling the partners to commercialize Alterra’s proprietary thermo-chemical liquefaction technology in Europe. The process reportedly allows plastic waste streams from diverse post-consumer sources to be liquefied into a material similar to crude oil. The material can be processed and upgraded by companies like Neste into high-quality feedstock for polymer and chemical production.

The companies are working together toward a global rollout of Alterra’s liquefaction technology with a strong initial focus on Europe, which they consider to be a leading market in the global transition toward a fully circular plastics value chain. The collaboration supports Alterra Energy’s target of commencing the construction of a state-of-the-art liquefaction site in Europe during 2021.

Alterra’s existing industrial-scale waste plastics liquefaction plant in Akron produces commercial volumes that can be refined and upgraded into high-quality feedstock for plastics and chemicals, according to the companies’ information. Together with Neste’s refining capability, the technology enables sustainability-oriented brands globally to start introducing recycled content into their products.

“Collaboration with Alterra Energy strengthens Neste’s ecosystem of partnerships that are aimed at accelerating the transition to a circular plastics economy,” said Neste’s Mercedes Alonso, Executive Vice President, Renewable Polymers and Chemicals. “It demonstrates our commitment to continue developing the chemical recycling industry by supporting some of the leading companies in commercializing promising technologies.

“This partnership also supports Neste’s aim of building new business growth based on chemical recycling, while marking another significant step toward our target of processing more than one million tons of plastic waste from 2030 onwards,” Alonso added.

Alterra CEO Frederic Schmuck commented that the “partnership will unlock the full potential of the circular economy, bringing our technology to more partners around the world, creating a cleaner planet. Neste is a world leader in renewable and circular solutions and its endorsement of Alterra’s proprietary process is both extremely rewarding and validating,” said Schmuck.

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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