Chemical Recycling of Ocean Plastic Waste


RWTH researchers have now demonstrated that retrieved marine plastic waste can be re-used.


RWTH’s Technologies of Fuels Unit (TEER), the Institute of Applied Microbiology (iAMB), and the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management (IWW) have joined forces with the environmental organization everwave to analyze and evaluate possible methods for the chemical recycling and energy recovery of marine litter.

The researchers sought to find out whether heterogeneous and weathered material mixtures can be treated with thermochemical processes and subsequently be recycled – or “upcycled” – into usable materials.

The promising research results have now been published in the scientific journal Processes. The marine litter samples used in the investigations had been collected by volunteers at the coasts of the islands Sylt and Norderney, Germany.

The study, titled Comparative Analysis of the Behaviour of Marine Litter in Thermochemical Waste Treatment Processes is available for download at the MDPI website.