SEOUL -- LG Chem, the chemical unit of South Korea's LG Group, will build an aerogel plant at its plastic waste recycling base for commercial operation in 2024, along with a "supercritical" pyrolysis plant, as part of efforts to expand its environment-related business. About 310 billion won ($234 million) will be spent on building the two plants in Dangjin some 80 kilometers (49.7 miles) southwest of Seoul.
Aerogels are a class of synthetic porous ultralight material and can be produced by extracting the liquid component of a gel through supercritical drying or freeze-drying. Aerogel blanket insulation can replace polyurethane used in the cargo hold of liquefied natural gas carriers. It can be used in a wide range of temperatures as flexible material characteristics make it easy to construct on-site.
LG Chem said it would foster its Dangjin base as a mecca for eco-friendly future material businesses. The company has expanded its environment-related businesses such as the recycling of plastics using a pyrolysis technique which uses extreme heat and pressure to break down plastic waste into oil.
LG Chem has partnered with Mura Technology, a British supercritical pyrolysis technology company, to build a pyrolysis plant in Dangjin. A supercritical pyrolysis technique uses supercritical water pressurized and heated above 373 degrees Celsius.
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