Description of technologies

Innovation for good

Polystyrene is unique because of its intrinsic circular capability. Put another way, no other mass-produced polymer can achieve such a high monomer yield and be as fully recovered for re-use once broken down into monomers.

Styrenics Circular Solutions (SCS) has identified two optimal technologies for converting used polystyrene-based products back into high-quality virgin material: depolymerisation and dissolution. Both technologies operate on the molecular level, enabling the separation of recyclable polystyrene from the stabilizers, fillers, colorants and other additives.

• Depolymerisation thermally “unzips” polystyrene into its original molecular building blocks for re-use in high-quality food-grade products.
• Dissolution extracts impurities with a solvent, enabling re-use for many applications such as building and construction materials.

SCS is also exploring the wider application of:

• Existing technologies e.g. mechanical recycling
• Other recycling initiatives with the aim of building on ongoing efforts, expanding their scope, accelerating industrialisation, and gaining cost and energy efficiencies

Key SCS milestones:

Additional information:

European Plastics Strategy