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Lotte Chemical launchs pilot production of chemically recycled polyethylene terephthalate

By Lim Chang-won Posted : August 23, 2022, 13:48 Updated : August 23, 2022, 13:48

[Courtesy of Lotte Chemical]

SEOUL -- Lotte Chemical, a major chemical company based in South Korea, has launched the pilot production of chemically recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) as part of efforts to covert its PET production plant into an outpost for chemical recycling that breaks down and returns plastic to its pure, raw material form.

It is an attractive way to address the explosive growth of plastic waste and disposal problems. polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the most common thermoplastic polymer resin used in the creation of fabrics and plastic bottles. Researchers and companies have tried to develop technologies for recycling PET bottles to use them as raw materials for new eco-friendly products. 

At its production base in the southeastern industrial city of Ulsan, Lotte Chemical will invest about 100 billion won ($74 million) to build a new plant that can handle waste PET to produce some 45,000 tons of bis(2-hydroxyethyl terephthalate (BhET), an intermediate in the production of polyethylene terephthalate. 

The company would build a production facility by 2024 that will use recycled materials to produce chemical recycled PET (C-rPET). "Through this C-rPET pilot production, we have laid the foundation for converting the Ulsan plant into a green factory," Lotte Chemical's basic material business head Hwang Jin-koo said in a statement on August 23. By 2030, the entire process of producing 340,000 tons of PET in Ulsan will be converted to C-rPET. 

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