Converting plastics in to fuel

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche

17 July 2018


In the port of Amsterdam the construction has started of a new facility that will convert non-recyclable plastic into fuel for the transport sector, which will cut down CO₂ emission by 57,000 tonnes per year.

It is the first project of Bin2Barrel, a Dutch company focusing on the development of Plastic-to projects. This is how synthetic materials that could not be reused otherwise will now become reusable in a useful application, while at the same time offering a more sustainable alternative for traditional transport fuels.

The ultimate goal is application of the produced substances in the production of new synthetic materials, in other words chemical recycling. This brings the mission of Bin2Barrel fully in line with the targets of the Dutch government, who recently added chemical recycling to its national waste management plan.

The plant will be built in collaboration with Port of Amsterdam and is expected to be up and running by the end of this year.

First commercial application of proven technology

The first plant of Bin2Barrel, accomplished with an investment of approx. €28m, will produce more than 30m litres of fuel per year out of 35,000 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic. This is the first time ever that commercial use is made of a proven technology, partly thanks to a government grant for energy innovation (DEI).

The flow of non-recyclable plastic comes from Dutch waste collectors and processors, who would otherwise just burn waste for lack of any other applications. In combustion of the produced fuel, the return on energy is nearly three times higher (80%) than in direct burning of plastic in waste incinerators (33%). Although, potentially, the fuel is also suitable for other sectors, Bin2Barrel focuses first on selling it to the marine industry.

Roon van Maanen, Head of Circular & Renewable Industry at Port of Amsterdam, is pleased with the collaboration with Bin2Barrel:

“The use of plastic and the lack of a proper processing of plastic cause massive pollution worldwide. Bin2Barrel introduces innovative and badly needed technology that will enable us to make use of a currently non-recyclable flow of waste in a manner that makes perfect sense. By creating a new product from an otherwise problematic waste product, Bin2Barrel fits perfectly within the mission of Port of Amsterdam to facilitate energy transition as well as transition to a circular economy.”

Saving 57,000 tonnes of CO₂ emission per year

The processing of non-recyclable plastic waste in the new plant will lead to a reduction of 57,000 ton CO₂ emission per year compared to today’s manner of waste management.[1]

In addition, the produced fuel has the same sustainability level as biodiesel, which will further contribute to the environment. “We are proud that this plant, which is the first of its kind in the world, will help us contribute to energy transition. We provide a solution that will process non-recyclable plastic with a higher efficiency, while at the same time producing fuel with an extremely low emission”, says Floris Geeris, co-founder of Bin2Barrel.

The aim is to eventually build four plants in the port of Amsterdam, expanding into the entire Benelux and Germany, in order to make better use of the huge amounts of non-recyclable plastic throughout Europe. Eventually, the focus will be shifted to extracting valuable chemical components from the plastic, instead of the production of fuels.