Chemelot Circular Hub – to accelerate waste technology advancement

The Chemelot Circular Hub (CCH) is a program focused on establishing Europe’s leading circular hub. It prioritises chemical recycling, alongside mechanical recycling, circular design, and biogenic resource utilisation. The CCH aims to develop a diverse range of technologies to effectively recycle plastic, biomass, and mixed waste. 

The CCH prioritises recycling polyamides and polyesters, aiming to establish a demonstration plant producing circular caprolactam with a low carbon footprint by 2030.


We need Chemelot’s technological advancement to close the loop!

As a key stepping stone on the road to circularity, chemical recycling is one of leading projects of the Chemelot Circular Hub’s innovation pillar, complementing research and innovation on mechanical recycling, circular design and the use of biogenic resources. Likely, there will be a dynamic portfolio of many technologies, aiming at recycling of plastic waste, biomass-waste and mixed waste.

Therefore, it established dedicated field labs to accelerate waste technology advancement and to emphasise solvolysis and chemical recycling. In these field labs pyrolysis will convert hard-to-recycle waste into valuable cracker feedstocks, with plans to demonstrate at least five pyrolysis technologies by 2025. The CCH targets 400 ktpa of pyrolysis oil by 2030 and 1 Mtpa by 2040. Additionally, the CCH explores a direct waste-to-cracker approach, eliminating the need for existing crackers and improving efficiency. Pyrolysis will also be employed to convert tires into carbon black or new rubbers. Gasification of mixed waste will produce hydrogen as an alternative to natural gas. 

Because chemical recycling of complex epoxy and polyester thermoset composites in windmill blades poses a challenge that requires innovative solutions, solvolysis technology targets efficient conversion of plastics like High-Impact Polystyrene, acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, and PolyVinyl Chloride into their monomers by 2030. Moreover, through CCH technologies, any remaining CO2 emissions can be captured and reused through gas fermentation and Fischer-Tropsch conversion, generating useful products and hydrocarbons. The CCH strives for significant progress in waste management and sustainable practices, leveraging technological advancements for a circular future at Chemelot.

The Chemelot Circular Hub has been featured as a showcase in the in the HCH’s latest brochure “Chemical Recycling in Circular Perspective”, which is now available digitally ‘Chemical Recycling in Circular Perspective