Hydrogen production from plastic waste through chemical recycling
Plastic waste is a global problem, with just 16 per cent of plastic waste recycled to make new plastics, while 40 per cent is sent to landfills worldwide. A waste-to-hydrogen project in central Poland is being developed to address this problem by using novel technology, which will also provide low-carbon hydrogen for the energy transition that is currently underway.
Converting plastic waste to low-carbon hydrogen
Modular waste-to-hydrogen plants will be converting 40 tons of plastic waste to about 2.7 tons of 99.999% pure low-carbon hydrogen daily, depending on the composition of plastic waste. Plastic waste conversion to syngas through pyrolysis, and steam reforming, followed by syngas cleaning and hydrogen extraction through pressure-swing adsorption will be handled at the plants.
The process will be fully electrified and able to run on renewable power. The modular waste-to-hydrogen plants are based on DMG technology (developed by Powerhouse Energy Group PLC) and will be rolled out by Hydrogen Utopia International PLC.
I have commissioned partner companies to build a system which will help turn unrecyclable plastic into hydrogen. It’s important to have the support of the best to make it happen. I am confident that our journey will take us to international waters and will allow us to deploy the DMG technology all over the European Continent to help in tackling the growing plastic problem. – Aleksandra Binkowska, CEO Hydrogen Utopia International PLC
Coal phase-out region in Poland
The waste-to-hydrogen project is located in Kolnin, eastern Wielkopolska; a coal phase-out region and contributes to its transition, as well as to solving an increasing problem of plastic waste accumulation in Poland. The project is estimated to save hundreds of thousands tCO2e during its lifetime and includes replacing heat from lignite and increasing hydrogen use. Tail gas will currently supply gas engines to produce electricity and heat, while in the future it could be used as feedstock in the chemical and petrochemical industries.
With Electron Technologies BV responsible for hydrogen-rich syngas production equipment, and Linde Engineering GmbH responsible for syngas clean up and hydrogen extraction, as well as export equipment, the technology can become a gamechanger in processing currently unrecyclable plastic waste.
Sweco experts provide project design, communication and technical advisory support Approximately 20 Sweco experts are involved in the Konin project, which is scheduled for completion by the end of 2023. Sweco prepared concept design and Environmental Impact assessments for the plant, supporting the client in communication with the local authorities, as well as through technical advisory.
The pace of implementing an innovative technology in such a strictly regulated area such as waste treatment is demanding, but this project shows that with high stakeholder engagement, projects can be efficiently developed to enable successful replication. – Aleksander Korytowski, Project manager Sweco