UK: Circular Economy Revolutionary Plastics Recycling Plant to Use Advanced Automation Technologies by Emerson

Editor: Ahlam Rais

Renew ELP has plans to develop a new plastics recycling plant based on the ground-breaking advanced recycling process – HydroPRS (Hydrothermal Plastic Recycling System) in Teesside, UK. For this, the company has selected Emerson’s advanced automation technology and software to ensure safe and efficient operation of the unique plastics recycling process.

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Emerson’s advanced automation technology and software will help achieve safe, efficient operation of the Renew ELP plastics recycling plant in Teesside, UK.
Emerson’s advanced automation technology and software will help achieve safe, efficient operation of the Renew ELP plastics recycling plant in Teesside, UK.
(Source: Emerson)

Leicester/UK – Renew ELP has selected Emerson as its digital automation partner for its new plastics recycling plant in Teesside, north-east England. Emerson’s advanced automation technology and software will help achieve safe, efficient operation of an innovative hydrothermal process to convert end-of-life plastics back into their original feedstock to produce new plastic products, reducing waste and pollution.

“By converting end-of-life plastics into fossil-replacement feedstocks, Renew ELP has the potential to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic and make the raw ingredients for a circular plastics economy, creating value instead of waste,” said Richard Daley, managing director, Renew ELP. “Pivotal to achieving these goals is the construction of this first commercial-scale plant using a unique hydrothermal platform, and in Emerson we have found a valuable, long-term partner to create an advanced automation model for further plants planned across Europe.”

The Renew ELP plant will utilize a ground-breaking advanced recycling process called HydroPRS (Hydrothermal Plastic Recycling System), that uses supercritical steam (high pressure and temperature) to convert waste plastics into the valuable chemicals and oils from which they were originally made. These products can then be used to manufacture new plastics and other materials.

The plant is expected to become operational in late 2022, with the first phase including one of four recycling lines, each able to process 20,000 tons of plastic waste per year.

“The HydroPRS process is currently undergoing a Life Cycle Assessment by Warwick Manufacturing Group to understand both its environmental impacts and Global Warming Potential (GWP), alongside the CO2 savings from diverting plastic waste away from incineration and into advanced recycling,” said Daley. “Initial findings indicate a significantly reduced GWP when compared to energy from waste (incineration) and a favorable comparison to fossil naphtha, supporting the ambition of a viable pathway to net zero.”

As the main automation contractor, Emerson will be responsible for developing a complete automation and control solution to ensure safe, efficient operation of the demanding production process with minimum operator intervention. Emerson’s Project Certainty methodology, which digitalizes project execution, will help deliver the plant on budget and on schedule, while its Operational Certainty methodologies will help Renew ELP realize maximum operational performance and profitability over the lifecycle of the facility.

As part of the automation solution, Emerson will provide an integrated control and safety system, incorporating its DeltaV distributed control system and DeltaV safety instrumented system for process and emergency shutdown, plus fire and gas detection. Emerson’s Plantweb digital ecosystem, incorporating wired and wireless networks that support clusters of advanced measurement instrumentation, will provide visibility to process performance and actionable data about equipment health.

The automation system will feature a broad range of severe service and general-purpose control valves, on/off valves and pressure control technology. A range of asset management solutions will be deployed to enhance equipment reliability and increase process availability and throughput, while minimizing the time operators spend in the field performing manual inspections.