Alberta funds gas-from-plastic project

NOVA Chemicals Corporation and Enerkem Inc. have received funding of $4.5 million from Alberta Innovates.

The funding, provided through Alberta Innovates’ Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) Economic Recovery Program is allowing the companies build a pilot-scale reactor system that produces gas from used, non-recyclable and non-compostable plastics to feedstocks for virgin-grade plastics.

The team – which includes experts from leading chemicals and plastic resins producer, NOVA Chemicals – has been working to achieve lower greenhouse gas emissions while significantly accelerating the upgrading process for waste materials.

The successful implementation of this technology in Alberta could result in reduction of local CO2 emissions by approximately 165,000 tCO2e per year, while also diverting 230,000 tonnes of waste (including over 100,000 tonnes of mixed plastic waste) per year from landfills.

“By taking waste streams that are otherwise non-recyclable, we can complement mechanical recycling efforts and provide an important solution to close the gap between recycling targets and the important role plastics play in our daily lives,” said Michel Chornet, executive vice-president, engineering, innovation and operations at Enerkem.

“The project aims to expand the types of materials that can be recycled and increase recycling rates while reducing emissions from incineration and landfill and keeping plastic out of the environment.”