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Naphtha from recycled plastics to power Braskem production

Brazil – Brazilian plastics producer Braskem, which currently uses sugarcane ethanol as a green raw material, will be tapping a new feedstock from 2013 – naphtha made from post-consumption recycled plastics.

The product will be supplied by Novaenergia, a waste treatment subsidiary of the Wastech group located in Bahia state which is set to build its first advanced recycling plant in the city of Salvador. Initially, Braskem expects to take 1.4 million litres per year of naphtha generated from plastics waste. It will process this at its Basic Petrochemicals Unit in the Camaçari Complex.

The project will stimulate post-consumption recycling in major cities, still a significant challenge in Brazil. ‘Seeking out new technologies and feedstocks that generate lower environmental impacts is part of Braskem’s commitment to the sustainability of the plastics production chain,’ explained Hardi Schuck, Braskem’s Supply Chain Officer.

Salvador and neighbouring cities generate around 3000 tonnes of waste per day. The Novaenergia plant will process 450 tonnes of waste per day, 36 tonnes of which will yield 30 000 liters of synthetic oil. This will be used by to produce naphtha, fuel oil and diesel oil with low sulphur content. Construction of the processing plant involves investment of some US$ 25 million, with start-up scheduled for the end of 2012. Re-using the plastics and other recyclable materials extracted will reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by 50%.

‘Our agreement with Braskem is very important for the Novaenergia project, since it lends credibility to the process we are adopting and to the quality of our final product,’ said Luciano Coimbra, President of the Wastech/Novaenergia group.

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