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LyondellBasell and Audi create first automotive plastic parts from mixed automotive plastic waste

LyondellBasell (NYSE: LYB) and Audi announced a first time collaboration to help close the loop for mixed automotive plastic waste. Audi is installing plastic seatbelt buckle covers in the Q8 e-tron made using LyondellBasell plastic that supports the sourcing of feedstocks from mixed automotive plastic waste. Plastic components from customer vehicles that can no longer be repaired are dismantled, shredded, and processed by chemical recycling into pyrolysis oil. The pyrolysis oil is then used as a raw material in LyondellBasell’s manufacturing process for the production of new plastics, replacing virgin fossil feedstocks. The recycled content is attributed to the Audi product via a mass balance approach [1].

“As part of the PlasticLoop project, we are working with Audi to establish an innovative closed-loop process, recycling plastic automotive parts for use in new vehicles,” said Erik Licht, LyondellBasell Advanced Polymer Solutions New Business Development Director. “For the first time, we are using chemical recycling to recycle mixed automotive plastic waste into plastic granulate for automotive interior applications. The plastic granulate is then used in the production of the seatbelt buckle covers for the Audi Q8 e-tron.”

With this process, LyondellBasell, Audi, and chemical recycler SynCycle (Next Generation Group and BDI), succeed in recycling a stream of material which today is mostly only suitable for energy recovery. This reduces the usage of fossil-based primary materials for the Audi Q8 e-tron and keeps valuable feedstocks in a circular loop. Materials produced from pyrolysis oil are of the same high quality as virgin materials and have the same properties. Chemical recycling offers an alternative to energy recovery and complements mechanical recycling.

“Audi’s vision is to use secondary materials wherever it is technically possible, economically viable and ecologically beneficial.” says Philipp Eder, Project Manager for Circular Economy in the Supply Chain at Audi. “The PlasticLoop project is part of Audi’s circular economy strategy and a good example of cross-sector cooperation within the Audi supply chain. Findings from the project are also incorporated into the product development of future vehicle projects via the “Design for Recycling” approach.”

About Audi

The Audi Group is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles in the premium and luxury segments. The brands Audi, Ducati, Lamborghini and Bentley produce at 21 locations in 13 countries. Audi and its partners are present in more than 100 markets worldwide. In 2021, the Audi Group delivered around 1.681 million cars from the Audi brand, 8,405 sports cars from the Lamborghini brand and 59,447 motorcycles from the Ducati brand to customers. In the 2021 fiscal year, AUDI AG achieved a total revenue of €53.1 billion and an operating profit before special items of €5.5 billion. More than 89,000 people all over the world work for the Audi Group, around 58,000 of them in Germany. With its attractive brands, new models, innovative mobility offerings and groundbreaking services, the group is systematically pursuing its path toward becoming a provider of sustainable, individual, premium mobility.

About SynCycle

SynCycle is a joint project driven by the Next Generation Group and BDI-BioEnergy International. In this cooperation, experts in recycling join forces. A combined 50 years of industry experience and extensive in-house R&D capabilities provides a tailor-made solution for specific plastic waste challenges. A worldwide installation base of more than 1,500 projects in mechanical recycling, a portfolio of over 300 patents and more than 350 dedicated experts offers the track record needed for a competent and safe launch pad for chemical recycling projects. At SynCycle, we are committed to unwaste plastic! For a better tomorrow, we all have to consider the big picture and start taking action on modular systems to open possibilities for decentralized processing places up to integrated solutions for a real circularity in plastics. SynCycle is open to collaboration and partnership opportunities because we see the need to join efforts. “Big enough to innovate, small enough to cooperate” – that’s our motto. For more information please visit www.syncycle.com

About LyondellBasell

As a leader in the global chemical industry, LyondellBasell strives every day to be the safest, best operated and most valued company in our industry. The company’s products, materials and technologies are advancing sustainable solutions for food safety, access to clean water, healthcare and fuel efficiency in more than 100 international markets. LyondellBasell places high priority on diversity, equity and inclusion and is Advancing Good with an emphasis on our planet, the communities where we operate and our future workforce.  The company takes great pride in its world-class technology and customer focus. LyondellBasell has stepped up its circularity and climate ambitions and actions to address the global challenges of plastic waste and decarbonization. In 2022, LyondellBasell was named as one of FORTUNE Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” for the fifth consecutive year. For more information, please visit www.lyondellbasell.com

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