ExxonMobil shares carbon footprint assessment of proprietary advanced recycling technology
ExxonMobil has commissioned a carbon footprint assessment (ISO 14067) of its Exxtend™ technology for advanced recycling as practiced in the United States. While we understand the benefits of our co-processing technology in terms of scale and capabilities, we also wanted to know how it compared in terms of carbon footprint to the base case when we run the units without waste plastics.
The assessment was conducted by Sphera, a leading sustainability consulting group for life cycle assessments, and was reviewed by a panel of independent experts. The following conclusions are from Sphera’s assessment of ExxonMobil’s Exxtend technology for advanced recycling:
- Every 1,000 tons of waste plastics processed results in 185-525 tons CO2e (19-49%) lower GHG emissions than processing the same amount of fossil-based feedstock.
- This is a cradle-to-gate study. The advanced recycling process assessed produces feedstocks that can be used for plastic polymer production. The calculated GHG reduction does not include the GHG impacts of diverting waste plastic from the alternative end of life (EoL) dispositions, such as landfill or incineration and waste-to-energy recovery.
As we step back and we ask ourselves where the positive results come from, this study reveals that waste plastic has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to fossil-based feedstock.
This is another important milestone on the journey of helping meet society’s evolving needs. We already knew that our Exxtend technology is advantaged in its capability to help address waste plastic conversion at scale and improve circularity. But Sphera’s peer-reviewed assessment demonstrates that we can do so while at the same time improving GHG emissions on a feedstock basis.