Ecolab Introduces Solutions for Advanced Recycled Plastic Feedstocks

November 17, 2021
Advanced Plastics Recycling Ecolab News


  • Ecolab has introduced a holistic suite of offerings for ethylene producers and chemical recyclers of plastic waste that use and produce an alternate recycled plastic feedstock called pyrolysis oil.
  • Ethylene producers are utilizing recycled plastic feedstocks to reduce fossil fuel use and advance sustainability strategies.
  • The Ecolab program combines advanced chemistry with continuous solutions for production, processing, storage and transport of plastic feedstock to help existing production facilities protect assets and avoid significant capital expenditure required for retrofitting operations.


Nalco Water, Ecolab’s water and process management business for industrial customers, has launched a new program for refineries, ethylene producers and chemical recyclers of plastic waste. The program offers an end-to-end suite of chemistries and field expertise that are unique to the downstream energy and chemical markets. 

The world now produces more than 380 million tons of plastic each year, much of which continues to exist as pollutants, entering the natural environment and oceans. Companies, governments and citizens around the world increasingly recognize the challenges of single use plastics and are seeking to address them with a more “circular economy.” Advanced recyclers of plastic waste have begun to produce an alternate feedstock — pyrolysis oil — for ethylene producers and refiners. This alternative feedstock, which utilizes recycled plastic waste, can be difficult to process and transport, which creates new challenges within their operations.

To alleviate these challenges for both advanced recyclers and downstream processors, Nalco Water’s new program offers several solutions that make the production of pyrolysis oil easier while also helping with feedstock flowability and stability as it is transported, stored and processed.

“The Advanced Recycling for Plastics program offers strong value for ethylene producers that are using recycled plastic feedstock as a way to implement more sustainable solutions,” said Calvin Emanuel, VP, Strategy, Primary Resources Sector. “Human desire for more ecofriendly energy solutions is driving fundamental change in the marketplace, and Nalco Water can help support our customers along their transformational journey with the solutions in this new program.” 

Nalco Water has already leveraged existing partnerships with major ethylene producers and advanced recyclers of plastic waste in North America and Europe. Early trials with the solutions have successfully enabled companies to process the recycled plastic feedstock, which has been shown to significantly reduce carbon emissions over other traditional feedstocks, such as petroleum naphtha.

A Suite of Solutions

The Nalco Water program is a holistic suite of offerings that help ethylene producers and refiners use existing infrastructure when processing pyrolysis oil. The solutions enable companies to preserve their existing equipment, which necessitates lower capital costs than retrofitting their operations for feedstock transportation. Additionally, the solutions that help with feedstock stability and flowability as it is stored and processed protect refining and chemical processing infrastructure from scaling and corrosion. 

The program brings a tailored approach to the industry and includes:

  • Chemical solutions to help with the production, storage and transportation of recycled plastic feedstock
  • Consulting on program implementation, seasonal variabilities, asset protection and future scaling potential
  • Continuous research and development to optimize operations


"This program offers several services and technologies that improve processes and overall operational reliability, but we are choosing to focus on the end results,” Emanuel said. “Ecolab is committed to help our customers along their net zero journey, and our concentration on the tangible results that advanced plastics recycling solutions bring to ethylene producers is a significant step forward towards their objectives.”

To learn more about how the program supports ethylene and advanced recycling plants, check out the video here or visit

Advanced Plastics Recycling Plant Diagram

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