TIGARD, Oregon—U.S. chemical recycling specialist Agilyx Corp. and South Korean materials supplier Kumho Petrochemical have joined forces to develop sustainable synthetic rubber using post-consumer plastics.
As part of the agreement, announced Aug. 23, the two companies will study the development and construction of a chemical recycling project in South Korea.
The project will explore the use of post-consumer plastics in the production of synthetic rubber, particularly focusing on producing pure styrene from post-use polystyrene, said Jong-Hoon Baek, CEO of Kumho Petrochemical.
The partners will use Agilyx chemical depolymerization technology to produce styrene monomers from post-use polystyrene.
The styrene monomers would then be used as a virgin equivalent raw material to produce solution styrene-butadiene rubber, a key component for the manufacture of tires.
"The collaboration with Agilyx will give Kumho Petrochemical an opportunity to propose a new line of eco-SSBR products to most of our customers who prefer sustainable products," he said.
The project will expand the market for post-use recycled polystyrene into "new, high growth and technically demanding applications," said Tim Stedman, CEO of Agilyx.
"The potential to use waste plastic to create high performance SSBR for the manufacture of tires is a very exciting example of our technology's ability to create a new life for plastic."