Fact Sheet Publications

Pyrolysis of Plastic Waste: Recycling Hard-to-Recycle Plastics (2023)


Summary: This fact sheet defines pyrolysis of waste plastics: the basics, the products, the processes, the technologies, advantages, and challenges. It also highlights how pyrolysis integrates into the current production of plastics, promoting a circular economy. One of the main sections of the fact sheet focuses on differentiating pyrolysis from incineration both technically and environmentally. The fact sheet finishes by presenting safety considerations of pyrolysis and a summary of the environmental benefits vs. current linear economy of waste plastics.

Authors: Jiayang Wu1, Harish Radhakrishnan2, Collin H. Oi1, Olumide Olafasakin1, Jessica Brown2, Kevin Nelson3, Robert Brown2, Xianglan Bai2, Ive Hermans1, Mark Mba-Wright2Horacio A. Aguirre-Villegas1, George W. Huber1

1University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2Iowa State University , 3Amcor


Summary: This fact sheet presents and introduction to plastic production and disposal and the need to increase the current recycling rates of plastics. It then introduces the solvent targeted recovery and precipitation (STRAP) technology to upcycle flexible and rigid materials, being a feasible solution to recover plastic packaging materials that currently go to the landfill. It finally presents the economics and environmental considerations around STRAP and makes the case for construction of the first commercial plant.

Authors: Zhuo Xu1, Kevin L. Sanchez-Rivera2, Aurora Munguia-Lopez2, Marty Ochs3, Kevin Nelson4, Reid Van Lehn2, Ezra Bar-Ziv#, Horacio A. Aguirre-Villegas2, George W. Huber2

Institutions: 1Michigan Technological University, 2University of Wisconsin-Madison, 3Green Bay Innovation Group, 4Amcor.