Enhancement of chemical recycling to obtain high quality pyrolysis oil


Pyrolysis (sometimes called chemical recycling) is a thermochemical process that converts carbon-based feedstocks to a mixed hydrocarbon called “pyrolysis oil.” Pyrolysis oil can be further distilled into products like naphtha, diesel, and waxes depending on feedstock composition and process conditions. The Pyrolysis oil should be used as cracker feedstock or other feedstock in a refinery process, to close the loop of circularity and to produce new chemical building blocks from the pyrolysis oil.

This chemical recycling process is well-established in the industry, but pyrolysis oil quality and useful hydrocarbon products often depend on the purification system. 

Clariant has developed a range of high-performance purification system for pyrolysis oil and is seeking chemical recycling partners to explore joint development to refine the pyrolysis process for plastic recycling.


  • The waste feedstock used for the chemical recycling plant should be plastic waste, mainly PP, HDPE, LDPE and PS, with small amounts of PVC and others being acceptable.
  • The chemical recycling process should be proven in a pilot scale (TRL 7 and above).
  • The pilot scale should reach an output of 1000 t/a. An upscaling plan including technical feasibility should be available, to reach a minimum output of 10 kt/a of commercial production.
  • The process should deliver the oil in a quantity, which allows further testing with sample sizes of minimum 1-3 I.
  • The resulting oil should show impurities of e.g. chlorine, sulphur or metals, which need to be removed or contain olefins which need to be further saturated before further processing is commercially viable.
  • Clariant seeks to test and co-develop the upgrading of pyrolysis oil at pilot scale at the technology provider’s facility of the chemical recycling plant to meet target specification (max 20 ppm total chlorine) of a cracker or similar sensitive processing plants, to close the loop of circularity.
  • The tech-partner should be familiar with the plastic recycling industry.
  • Ideally, the partner chemical recycling plant should be in South East Asia or Europe.
  • Joint development is the preferred partnership model. Clariant will provide the upgrading system, in-kind and technical support through inhouse upgrading tests.

Desired Outcome

  • The target market is to replace naphtha or condensate in a refinery process or chemical plant, to reduce the carbon footprint of the resulting chemical building blocks and to close the loop of circularity for plastic. The resulting feedstock should therefore be at approximately the same cost range as fossil-based oils, naphtha and condensate. 
  • Chemical recycling depending on the process can handle a variety of different plastic waste. By combining it with upgrading technology, the resulting oil can be used in a variety of chemical processes. Globally by 2030 according to Mac Kinsey approx. 60 – 70 mil of oil from chemical recycling will be available.

Development Timeframe

  • Direct start of collaboration on oil upgrading.



Further Enquiries

  • For specific enquiries on the challenge statement, please contact here   
  • For any general enquiries, please contact here      

Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge - Enterprise




Resource Efficiency

Proposal submissions are open from 24 Nov 2020 12:00AM to 5 Mar 2021 12:00PM