Elkem’s Collaborative REPOS Project Awarded 2023 Cefic Circularity Commendation

We are pleased to announce that the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) selected Elkem as one of 26 companies and national associations to feature in its 2023 European Responsible Care® Awards Gallery. Elkem’s collaborative Resourcing Silicones Polymers (REPOS) project was the only initiative that received commendation in the category of Circularity. It is aimed at developing eco-designed depolymerization chemistry to reduce silicone waste. The innovative depolymerization process can be conducted at ambient pressures and low temperatures, which enables a circular lifecycle and lower environmental footprint for silicone-based polymers and oils created from post-industrial and post-consumer waste.

Innovation for such a sweeping change to the silicones value chain will require collaboration, with implications for industrial, customer and consumer users of silicones. Its success will help meet societal expectations for circularity as well as industry and regulatory objectives to increase the recycled content of products. Aside from a growing need to develop a more circular end of life management of silicone waste such a recycled silicone can reduce the carbon footprint by 60 to 70% compared to traditional linear process. Elkem is partnering with two labs of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS): Catalysis, Polymerization, Process and Materials (CP2M) and Ingénierie des Matériaux Polymères (IMP), as well as two specialized local companies: Activation, Processium, on the project, along with the Axelera competitiveness cluster.

“While end-of-life silicone recovery at a massive scale is not yet achieved we believe, as part of our company commitment to shaping a more sustainable future, that Elkem must invest in innovation that develops a holistic approach to the principles of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle for our products and our customers who use them,” said Sean Duffy, VP sustainability. “Our collaborative research through project REPOS seeks to create a flexible, selective, and efficient process to harvest the value of silicone waste and enable development of a service offering that will become a “must have” in years to come.”

Reflective of Elkem’s three-pillar strategic climate roadmap to reduce process emissions, support the Green Transition and develop circular economies using eco-design approaches, there are two distinct recycling loops that are in-scope for project REPOS:

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