Chemical Recycling

BASF Goes Chemical Recycling

BASF announced in December 2018 that they will convert plastic waste into plastic feedstock.

ChemCycling is the name of BASF’s chemical recycling project that will convert plastic waste into oil (waste-to-oil).

Chemcycling will work through thermochemical processes, where plastic waste is broken down to oil or gaseous products. These gasses and oils will be used as a substitute to fossil feedstock.

How does it work?

Impact Corona on Bioplastics

Plastic waste will be converted into oil through thermochemical processes. This oil will be cracked into basic chemicals at temperatures of around 850° in the steam cracker. These chemicals can be converted into basic plastic granulate (ethylene and propylene) which can be used to produce packaging etc.


BASF is already working with 10 customers from various industries to develop pilot products, including mozzarella packaging, refrigerator components and insulation panels.

Martin Brudermüller, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of BASF SE

“With our ChemCycling project, we are using plastic waste as a resource. In this way, we create value for the environment, society and the economy. We have joined forces with partners throughout the value chain to establish a working circular model.”


  • BASF CEO made a statement to prove the commitment and the groundbreaking nature of this project, while it’s just chemical recycling. Reading between the lines, BASF inadvertently admits that there’s currently no “real plastic-to-plastic” recycling but only down cycling.
  • However, the process of converting  plastic waste in fuel (waste-to-fuel) is probably the single most important option to solve the plastic waste problem. The chances are high that BASF Chemcycling will help boost this waste-to-fuel technology.
  • The day we can integrate waste-to-fuel technology in cars or in petrol stations, we’ll have a real energy and transportation revolution.
  • In Back to the Future II (1989), Doc refuels his car with waste … the next step will be to do this with plastic waste


Plastic News – 2nd June



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