Use of Waste Plastics as a Refinery Feedstock

Presented By

Bob Baldwin - NREL

Conference: RefComm 2021

Managing plastic waste has emerged as one of the biggest challenges confronting our society today. Of the nearly 5 billion metric tons of plastics that have been discarded across the globe in past decades, only 600 million metric tons have been recycled, leading to an environmental catastrophe. In this presentation I will explore the use of pyrolysis oil from waste plastics as a refinery feedstock. Potential insertion points in existing refinery unit operations will be explored and advantages and disadvantages highlighted.

Use of plastics pyrolysis oil as a refinery feedstock is potentially and important waste management and mitigation strategy that will not require significant investments to realize and with little development or R&D needed to commercialize. Since the feedstock is low-cost, economic incentives are present that provide a clear driver for adopting this strategy.

Refining Community