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Techno‐economic assessment and comparison of different plastic recycling pathways: A German case study

Volk, Rebekka ORCID iD icon 1; Stallkamp, Christoph ORCID iD icon 1; Steins, Justus, J. ORCID iD icon 1; Yogish, Savina Padumane 2; Müller, Richard, C. 1; Stapf, Dieter 2; Schultmann, Frank 1
1 Institut für Industriebetriebslehre und Industrielle Produktion (IIP), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
2 Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions need to be reduced to limit global warming. Plastic production requires carbon raw materials and energy that are associated today with predominantly fossil raw materials and fossil GHG emissions. Worldwide, the plastic demand is increasing annually by 4%. Recycling technologies can help save or reduce GHG emissions, but they require comparative assessment. Thus, we assess mechanical recycling, chemical recycling by means of pyrolysis and a consecutive, complementary combination of both concerning Global Warming Potential (GWP) [CO2e], Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) [MJ/kg], carbon efficiency [%], and product costs [€] in a process‐oriented approach and within defined system boundaries. The developed techno‐economic and environmental assessment approach is demonstrated in a case study on recycling of separately collected mixed lightweight packaging (LWP) waste in Germany. In the recycling paths, the bulk materials polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), polyvinylchloride (PVC), and polystyrene (PS) are assessed. The combined mechanical and chemical recycling (pyrolysis) of LWP waste shows considerable saving potentials in GWP (0.48 kg CO2e/kg input), CED (13.32 MJ/kg input), and cost (0.14 €/kg input) and a 16% higher carbon efficiency compared to the baseline scenario with state‐of‐the‐art mechanical recycling in Germany. ... mehr

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000131910
Veröffentlicht am 29.04.2021
DOI: 10.1111/jiec.13145
Zitationen: 67
Zitationen: 74
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Industriebetriebslehre und Industrielle Produktion (IIP)
Institut für Technische Chemie (ITC)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsmonat/-jahr 10.2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1088-1980, 1530-9290
KITopen-ID: 1000131910
HGF-Programm 38.05.01 (POF IV, LK 01) Anthropogenic Carbon Cycle
Erschienen in Journal of industrial ecology
Verlag John Wiley and Sons
Band 25
Heft 5
Seiten 1318-1337
Projektinformation TT IndResS (UM-BW, L75 18017)
Bemerkung zur Veröffentlichung This article also appears in: Continuous Collection: Articles Awarded Data Badges
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 28.04.2021
Nachgewiesen in Scopus
Web of Science
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