Hyundai Oilbank joins hands with Samsung C&T to chemically recycle waste plastic and sell eco-friendly chemical products

By Lim Chang-won Posted : April 5, 2022, 14:53 Updated : April 5, 2022, 14:53

[Courtesy of Hyundai Oilbank]

SEOUL -- Hyundai Oilbank joined hands with Samsung C&T, a trade, investment and construction arm of Samsung Group, to chemically recycle waste plastics and develop markets for eco-friendly chemical products. Chemical recycling breaks down and returns plastic to its pure, raw material form.

Hyundai Oilbank, a refining unit of South Korea's Hyundai shipbuilding group, is responsible for producing eco-friendly chemical materials, while Samsung C&T is in charge of discovering new customers in Europe and the United States. Hyundai Oilbank's oil refining and petrochemical technology and operational know-how will be combined with Samsung C&T's global network to create synergy.

Hyundai Oilbank is ready to produce eco-friendly naphtha, a flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture used to dilute heavy crude oil and produce plastics, with waste plastic-based low-carbon pyrolysis oil. It is trying to make eco-friendly chemical materials such as polyethylene, the most common plastic in use, and polypropylene, a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of applications. 

Hyundai Oilbank has conducted empirical research to produce eco-friendly naphtha by injecting waste plastic pyrolysis oil into the process of refining crude oil. Pyrolysis is a chemical recycling process that can convert plastics into high-quality oil using extreme heat and pressure. Hyundai Oilbank's research institute has studied ways to produce pyrolysis oil-based petroleum and petrochemical products by improving physical properties and removing impurities. 

Hyundai Oilbank and Samsung C&T would cooperate in the overall eco-friendly chemical material business and develop overseas markets. "We hope the ecosystem of the eco-friendly low-carbon industry will expand further with the cooperation of the two companies with the best capabilities in different fields," Hyundai Oilbank CEO Chu Young-min said in a statement on April 5. 

Plastic products are broken down into microscopic sizes but they still remain in the environment. Pyrolysis and chemical recycling is widely researched in South Korea to address concerns about waste plastics. Pyrolysis technology can be used to create synthetic gas (syngas) that can be used as the main material for the production of methanol and ammonia.

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