Rudolf Meissner hos IVAR presenterer olje basert på selskapets avfallsplast.
Rudolf Meissner hos IVAR presenterer olje basert på selskapets avfallsplast.

Norwegian waste plastic becomes virgin-grade oil

May 5, 2022
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The waste management company IVAR IKS, the recycling company Quantafuel and Geminor have been collaborating for several months on chemical recycling of plastics that end up in the trash in the Stavanger region. Now the first oil developed in the project is ready for use in new plastic products.

In the Stavange area, plastics and metal packaging are sorted at source in IVAR's modern post-sorting facility at Forus, where valuable resources are extracted from household waste. In a joint project with Quantafuel and Geminor, plastics with the right properties have been sent to Quantafuel's chemical recycling plant in Skive, Denmark, where the plastic waste is upgraded into new raw material. This raw material, or oil, can be used to produce new products with very high quality requirements in both Norway and the EU, such as food packaging.

So far in 2022, Quantafuel has received as much as 150 tons of plastic for chemical recycling from IVAR.

- "We have now been processing plastics from the IVAR plant for a long period of time, and analyses show that the quality of the oil produced meets the requirements of our customer BASF. The oil has a quality that allows it to be used in products such as transport boxes for fish, food packaging for cold cuts, or in thermoboxes for temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals," says Quantafuel's Chief Operating Officer, Terje Eiken.

Terje Eiken of Quantafuel.

- This is an important step towards increased recycling and more efficient material recovery. The potential is very large, and we look forward to taking greater responsibility so that Norway and the EU can meet their ambitious recycling targets," Eiken continues.

Separating large quantities of plastics at source

IVAR's post-sorting facility covers an area of 11,000 square meters and saves the environment 33,000 tons of climate-damaging emissions per year through increased recycling of plastic, metal and paper. The sorting facility can sort up to three times as much plastic raw material as is currently sorted at source in Norwegian households.

Rudolf Meissner, IVAR's technical manager, sees great opportunities in the cooperation with Quantafuel.

- We have long been looking for recycling solutions that provide even higher material recovery rates for our separated plastics. Quantafuel is able to accept plastics that have little value otherwise in the recycling industry. Therefore, we hope that chemical recycling can give us an even higher environmental score than the one we achieve today," says Meissner.

A milestone

Geminor is a partner company with Quantafuel and is responsible for the logistics when IVAR's waste plastic is exported to chemical recycling in Denmark.

Country Manager in Norway, Kjetil Hausken, sees the chemically produced oil as a milestone in increasing the recycling rate of plastic waste in Norway.

Kjetil Hausken is Country Manager in Norway.

- "As a player in this process, it is great to finally see a finished oil product based on chemical recycling of plastics. The tests show that the plastic grades that we consumers know best, such as LDPE and PP film, are well suited for this purpose," says Kjetil Hausken.

"Finding, separating and processing the right plastics suitable for pyrolysis is an ongoing process in Norway and Scandinavia," says Hausken.

- Collecting plastics for chemical recycling requires not only the right type of plastic, but also the right quality and purity. It is important that more actors become familiar with this process, as we depend on high sorting rates and large volumes to increase plastic recycling and at the same time reach our common international goals," says Hausken.

- Knowledge, good routines and adapted equipment are important factors in this work," concludes Kjetil Hausken of Geminor.