New Dutch facility to turn waste into chemicals

A groundbreaking waste-to-chemistry plant is planned for Rotterdam which will divert residual waste, including plastics, from landfill to be converted into methanol.

With a projected annual capacity of 360,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste, equivalent to the yearly output of 700,000 households, the facility will produce a predicted 220,000 tonnes (270 million litres) of methanol, and will avoid the need to incinerate the waste. The partners claim this process can prevent around 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the environment.

Behind the project is an international funding group which has so far provided £8 million of funding, made up of green fuel and chemical companies Enerkem and AzkoNobel Specialty Chemicals, industrial gas and services supplier Air Liquide, and the Port of Rotterdam. A second round of investment is set for later in the year, which it is hoped will bring in a further £178 million for the project.