SEOUL, March 30 (Korea Bizwire) – LG Chem Ltd., a leading chemical producer in South Korea, said Thursday that it began the 310 billion-won (US$238 million) project to build facilities for plastic recycling and producing a next-generation thermal insulator component.
The envisioned plastic pyrolysis plant in the city of Dangjin, some 78 kilometers southwest of Seoul, will recycle plastic waste using high-temperature steam, known as supercritical pyrolysis, to produce pyrolysis oil used for making petrochemical products.
The new facility, the first of its kind in South Korea, is expected to begin operation next year and have an annual capacity of 20,000 tons for producing oil from plastic waste by 2024, it added.
The output will be used as feedstock for synthetic resins and other basic petrochemical products, LG Chem said.
Supercritical pyrolysis is a technology that decomposes used plastic with steam at high temperatures and pressure beyond a critical point, and converts it into fossil-replacement oils and chemicals that can be reprocessed into new plastics, according to LG Chem.
LG Chem also began building a separate facility in the same place to produce aerogel, a light solid material used as a thermal insulator for electric vehicle batteries, the transport and storage of liquid hydrogen, and special clothing like spacesuits.
LG Chem CEO Shin Hak-cheol said that the Dangjin plants will be a global hub in terms of eco-friendly materials, vowing to “play a major role in achieving sustainable growth and net-zero goals as a leading company in the petrochemical industry.”