Lotte Chemical produces polycarbonate using pyrolysis oil-based naphtha

By Lim Chang-won Posted : September 28, 2022, 17:39 Updated : October 17, 2022, 12:40

[Courtesy of Lotte Chemical]

SEOUL -- Lotte Chemical, a major chemical company based in South Korea, has produced polycarbonate, a high-value-added petrochemical product, by using pyrolysis oil-based naphtha made by recycling waste plastic. Polycarbonates are strong, tough materials with many applications. They are easily worked, molded, and thermoformed.

Pyrolysis is a chemical recycling process that can convert plastics into high-quality oil using extreme heat and pressure. Recycled oil is processed into medium crude and light oil. Previously, pyrolysis oil has not been used as a raw material for the production of petrochemical products due to impurities and concerns over air pollution. 
Waste plastic pyrolysis oil can be recycled as naphtha, a basic raw material for petrochemical products, through a post-treatment process of removing impurities. Lotte Chemical has received waste plastic pyrolysis naphtha from Hyundai Oilbank, a petroleum and refining company affiliated with South Korea's Hyundai shipbuilding group, and put it into the naphtha cracking center in its plant in the southern industrial port city of Yeosu.

Polycarbonates produced by Lotte Chemical carry ISCC PLUS certification, a sustainability certification program for bio-based and circular raw materials. "We will expand the chemical recycling business, including the production of pyrolysis naphtha-based products, and take the lead in building a virtuous cycle of resources," Lotte Chemical's basic materials business head Hwang Jin-gu said in a statement on December 28.  

South Korean research institutes, private companies and academics have joined hands to popularize pyrolysis recycling as a method to respond to climate change. SK Geo Centric, a chemical company affiliated with South Korea's SK Group, has partnered with Brightmark LLC, a San Francisco-based company that provides clean energy generation solutions, to build a pyrolysis plant capable of recycling 200,000 tons of waste plastics annually in the southeastern industrial port city of Ulsan.
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