Chemical recycling of polyethylene terephthalate, an industrial and sustainable opportunity for Northwest of England

Lang, W.T. and Mehta, S.A. and Thomas, M.M. and Openshaw, D. and Westgate, E. and Bagnato, G. (2023) Chemical recycling of polyethylene terephthalate, an industrial and sustainable opportunity for Northwest of England. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 11 (5): 110585. ISSN 2213-2929

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Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a thermoplastic polymer which is the most used polyester in the plastics industry in the present day. It is predominately used to construct clothes fibres and food containers due to its properties. The problems surrounding this phenomenon are the basis for the decision to produce this plant facility. An alternative method of recycling PET is to perform a chemical reaction. Eight initial reaction routes were identified and narrowed down to three final processes according to their economic viability and sustainability: methanolysis, glycolysis and hydrolysis. These three processes were evaluated using the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) method by considering the effect each reaction has on the local community, environment, and economic potential. It was identified that glycolysis was the most suitable process due to its significant initial economic potential of 21.15 M$/year calculated from the product and raw material costs. The reaction routes available for this process were researched and a final route was decided based on the operation costs and sustainability opportunities that the individual units offer. At the end of the economic evaluation for the process, it is determined that a profit value of 13.24 M$/year can be obtained with a post-tax profit of 6.35 M$/year. The equipment cost is evaluated as $6.63 M with employability of 28 people. The start-up cost for the process will be $2.4 M with a return on investment of 36% and a payback time of 3.5 years.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Research Output Funding/yes_internally_funded
?? glycolysismethanolysishydrolysistechno-economic assessmentlife cycle assessmentyes - internally fundednowaste management and disposalpollutionprocess chemistry and technologychemical engineering (miscellaneous)sdg 1 - no povertysdg 11 - sustainable cities ??
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Deposited On:
25 Aug 2023 14:55
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 00:03