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Centre for Integrated Energy Research

FLEXI-PYROCAT - FLEXIble PYROlysis-CATalysis processing of waste plastics

European Commission

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions: Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) (H2020-MSCA-RISE-2014: Project 643322).

Sponsor: EU HORIZON 2020.

Waste plastics can be turned into high value hydrogen, carbon nanotubes, chemicals or gasoline by the use of a novel flexible process involving pyrolysis and catalysts.

More details can be found here.

For more information on this project contact Professor Paul Williams (Email:

This EU HORIZON 2020 funded Research and Innovation Staff Exchange project aims to develop and maintain long term collaborations between Universities in the European Union with China and Australia. The collaboration is centered around the goal of advancing beyond the current state-of-the-art of waste plastics pyrolysis through staff exchanges with world-leading researchers in pyrolysis process engineering, catalysis and modelling/simulation. Advancement beyond the state-of-the-art is the innovation of introducing novel catalysts into the pyrolysis process to produce the next generation of advanced thermal treatment technologies for plastic wastes.

The technical aim of the project is therefore to develop a fully flexible, integrated pyrolysis & catalyst technology to treat waste plastics and biomass to produce high value:(i) hydrogen (ii) carbon nanotubes (iii) chemicals or (iv) gasoline, through control of the waste pyrolysis process conditions and the use of novel designable catalysts.

Project flowchart

The main project objectives are targeting 25 million tonnes of waste plastics generated in the EU each year, which can through research and innovation be turned from a waste problem into a valuable resource for high value products. Waste plastics have the potential for high levels of recycling, however, the overall recycling of plastics remains at a low level. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop waste recycling processes which are innovative, environmentally and socially acceptable with the potential for high economic reward. Such innovation is attractive to entrepreneurial exploitation by large businesses and SME’s.

Since the start of the project more than 80 person months of student and staff exchanges between the partner countries have taken place resulting in close research collaborations and resulting in 12 journal publications and several conference presentations.

Collaborating Universities