Exon-Mobil has taken steps to secure plastic feedstock for pyrolysis operations.
Big Oil Moves into Plastics Pyrolysis
Some years ago, Tyre and Rubber Recycling visited Curti Energy’s pilot tyre pyrolysis plant in Italy. The project was headed by Dr Ivan Montanari who was enthusiastic about the progress they were making. Some time later he told Tyre and Rubber recycling that the Italian oil giant ENI had looked at the process and although interested, they suggested that before they would get involved, they would expect to see a 50,000tpa plant able to provide the volume of oil they would be looking for,
In recent months we have seen chemicals giant BASF sign deals with Pyrum and New Energy for the oil offtake – which they can use to produce new chemical products.
The number of pyrolysis projects have been growing, and interest from outside the tyre sector has increased considerably.
The latest step is in the x sector, but it perhaps signposts a future avenue for tyre pyrolysis – we could see industries competing for access to pyrolysis oil, though the demand could always be impacted by global oil prices.
Agilyx has challenges in securing scrap plastic feedstocks – which suggests a waste management and logistics issue rather than an availability issue – Agilyx developed a subsidiary, Cyclyx as a feedstock supplier.
According to industry sources, Agilyx and Exon-Mobil have signed an agreement to invest some $8m in Cyclyx International. This will give Exon-Mobil a 25 per cent stake in the company and a priority access to recovered plastics for its own recycling processes.
Agilyx also has a MoU with A Eon in Australia for the construction of a plastics-to-fuel facility.
These development in the parallel polymer sector may give tyre pyrolysis operators some food for thought. It may open doors to larger alternative investors and markets. The game is no longer simply about putting tyres back into tyres, it is about recycling by whichever route makes the most sense.