Process for Chemical Recycling of Multilayer & Metallized Plastic Packaging Films

Executive Summary

In order to combat the growth of global plastic waste, pyrolysis processes have been developed to turn this waste material into gases, oils and waxes. However, these processes usually require high operating temperatures, expensive catalysts and restrictions on the type of plastics they can handle. Researchers at Michigan State University have recently developed an efficient process that can convert mixed polyolefins and metallized films into a primary product of oil. A wide variety of plastic materials and mixtures can be handled as feedstocks, thus enabling broader recycling of packaging materials and plastics in general.


Description of the Technology

The technology is based on standard pyrolysis, except it utilizes inexpensive, safe, and abundant Sodium Chloride (NaCl), or table salt, as the catalyst. Pyrolysis takes place at temperatures as low as 425oC and as short as 2 hours, with optimized lab-scale experiments recovering up to 86% of the plastic in the form of oil, while minimizing wax and gas. The process can handle single plastics or mixtures thereof, multilayer and metallized films and combinations. The salt can also be recycled and reused with negligible activity losses.



  • Low-cost & non-toxic catalyst (salt) which can be recycled
  • Low operating temperature
  • Competitive yield compared to thermal pyrolysis
  • Can handle a wide variety of plastic materials and metallized films



  • Mixed polyolefin plastic recycling
  • Recycling of metallized films


Patent Status

  • Patent pending


Licensing Rights

Full licensing rights available



Advanced Sustainable Systems Article, 2023



Dr. Muhammad RabnawazMohamed Shake Abdelwahed Mohamed




Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Jon Debling
Technology Manager
Michigan State University