Advanced Plastic Recycling: New generation catalyst development for direct synthesis of lower olefins using waste derived syngas

Ethylene is an important building block for the chemical industry and is most widely produced at global production scale of 200 million metric tonnes. As a typical chemical feedstock, ethylene is used to produce plastics, consumer goods, solvents, paints, among many others. Ethylene is predominantly produced by steam cracking which is run at very high temperatures and releases up to 2.7 kg CO2 eq./ kg of polyethylene produced. In Alberta, the production of ethylene and derivatives results in more than 4.5 million tonnes CO2 eq. / year; this is equivalent to more than 33% of non-energy sector CO2 emissions in Alberta.
This project focuses on an advanced recycling process of waste plastic to ethylene (circular plastic). This will be achieved by using the Enerkem Gasification Technology Platform that allows all such waste (like waste plastic, municipal solid waste with significant amount of single-use-plastic as well as biomass that may include agricultural waste and forestry waste) to convert in to syngas. In in this project a catalyst will be developed for syngas to ethylene and propylene conversion.

Faculty Supervisor:

Natalia Semagina


Samira Rostom




Engineering - chemical / biological




University of Alberta



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