Clariter recycling achieves net negative carbon footprint

LUXEMBOURG – Clariter, an international clean-tech company, claims its plastic recycling solution has achieved a net negative carbon footprint.

The results stem from an independent initial Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) carried out by CE Delft, a research and consultancy firm. The LCA determined that Clariter’s carbon footprint is below zero, indicating a net environmental benefit, with the solution actually reducing carbon emissions.

The purpose of the study was to better understand Clariter’s sustainability offering to its customers and other stakeholders and to further inform them of its engineering design activities.

Clariter recycles chemically. Its technology turns unwanted plastic waste into high-value, ready-to-use pure industrial products.

Clariter complements mechanical recycling by upcycling plastic waste streams that cannot be processed mechanically. The company’s patented 3-step chemical process results in the upcycling of plastic waste into sulphur-free, odourless, and pure chemicals: aliphatic solvents, white mineral oils, and paraffinic snow-white waxes. These are further used as ingredients for more than 1000 end and consumer products.

Clariter’s near-term plan is to build and operate full-scale plants, each of which will recycle 60,000 tons of plastic waste and produce 50,000 tons of clean products annually. The LCA study also highlighted that the Clariter process offers significant benefits for the treatment of plastic waste that cannot be recycled mechanically.

“CE Delft performed a life cycle assessment for Clariter, from cradle-to-gate,” said Geert Bergsma, Manager Supply Chain Analysis.

“The results indicate that their solution looks more attractive than alternative, non-mechanical recycling polyolefin disposal routes and an even stronger CO₂negative footprint is well within reach. If fully renewable utilities are used, this statement can be made even more so.”

When comparing the recycling of plastic waste (polyolefins) by Clariter, with other waste treatment routes for polyolefins, the outcome includes both the impact of the production processes and the environmental benefits of avoiding conventional products or energy. The LCA results show that:

  1. Clariter’s carbon footprint is negative (below zero), which indicates a net environmental benefit. Compared to others, Clariter is not polluting or depleting but rather cleaning the planet.
  2. The impact and benefits of Clariter’s solution supersede those of the pyrolysis[1] process, which produces intermediates, e.g. energy, fuel, or new plastics. The pyrolysis process prolongs the life of plastics, whereas Clariter ends it for good.
  3. Clariter’s Full-scale Plants are expected to show favourable energy generation to that of incineration in Municipal Solid Waste Incineration (MSWI). It is also expected that they will be competitive against best-case pyrolysis processes, as Clariter’s solution has a lower carbon footprint.