Air Liquide, in partnership with AkzoNobel, Van Gansewinkel, AVR, Enerkem and the Port of Rotterdam, is working in collaboration with the city of Rotterdam, the province of South Holland and InnovationQuarter to build a waste-to-chemicals plant in Rotterdam.

The plant, which is set to be constructed in the first half of 2017, will produce methanol from synthesis gas generated from residual waste.

The methanol produced can then be converted into substances such as acetic acid, thickening agents and dimethyl ethe – chemicals that are currently generated almost entirely from fossil fuels.

This development therefore represents a significant step towards a sustainable and circular approach to waste management in Rotterdam.

The process enables the production of high-quality chemicals from waste streams and will be in addition to the sustainable energy already being generated by modern waste-to-waste energy processes. The consortium anticipates that chemical recycling will become increasingly important in the coming years, given increasing end-product complexity and the ever higher demands on secondary resources.