Dow and Circusil LLC announced Nov. 3 a partnership to construct their first commercial-scale silicone recycling plant in North America. The facility will recycle silicone waste streams from Dow’s U.S. operations as well as post-industrial waste streams from customers. Operations are targeted to begin in the fourth quarter of 2024. The strategic investment marks a substantial milestone in Dow’s silicone circularity journey and will allow the company to produce silicone polymers derived from silicone waste and end-of-life products originating from U.S. operations.

The advanced recycling process that will be used at the new facility contributes to enhanced sustainability. In addition to achieving silicone recycling by closing the loop and ultimately reintroducing the recycled silicone product into silicone production, it also aims to reduce the overall carbon footprint. Recycled silicones exhibit a lower carbon footprint compared to silicone manufactured from virgin material.

“Our partnership with Circusil LLC to establish silicone recycling capabilities in North America marks a major stride forward in our pursuit of circularity,” said Eric Peeters, vice president for Dow Performance Materials & Coatings. “It reflects our ambition to lead silicone recycling at scale. As a global silicone manufacturer, we are actively delivering on our commitment to drive circularity, aiming to achieve a closed-loop system on this extremely valuable material while lowering the carbon footprint of silicones.”

Silicones play a key role in critical applications across significant industries, including electronics, automotive and electric vehicles, construction and renewable energy. The versatile materials are derived from the element silicon, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy as a “critical material for energy.”

For Dow’s U.S. customers, the new facility in Paris, Kentucky, once completed, will generate the opportunity to:

  • Recycle silicone waste from their own operations and therefore reduce their carbon footprint and Scope 1 or 3 emissions associated with waste treatment.
  • Ultimately have access to recycled-based silicone polymers to address the growing demand for circular solutions.
  • Accelerate progress toward their own sustainability objectives.