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10th IEM Chemical engineering design competition

Valorization of Plastic Wastes Using Chemical Recycling Technology

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10th IEM Chemical Engineering Design Competition

Valorization of Plastic Wastes Using Chemical Recycling Technology


The design competition is initiated by Chemical Engineering Technical Division (CETD) of the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM) with the objective of enhancing the design competency practically and methodologically. This competition will provide an excellent opportunity for the students to meet and exchange ideas pertaining to the profession with practicing engineers.

The 19th Asian Pacific Confederation of Chemical Engineering (APCChE) Congress will be held on 9-12 August 2022 with the theme of “Working Towards a Sustainable Society”. APCChE Congress 2022 will be a unique platform for R&D experts, professional chemical engineers, academicians, and students especially from this Asia Pacific region and from all over the world to exchange their ideas and expertise in these research areas and foster collaborations for the benefit of the chemical engineering profession.

The 10th Chemical Engineering Design Competition 2021/2022 will be held by CETD in conjunction with the APCChE Congress 2022 to encourage the participation from local and international students and to provide a platform for them to exchange their ideas.


All active chemical engineering students at diploma and degree levels from public and private institutions are eligible. Each participating team comprises up to 5 members from the same institution. Each institution can send up to 4 participating teams.

Case Scenario

Recycling is one of the most effective approaches to reduce the impacts of plastic wastes on the environment. Generally, there are two common methods of recycling plastic waste, i.e. physical recycling and chemical recycling. The core principle of physical recycling of plastic wastes is a thermal process to heat and melt the thermoplastics into recycled resins which are low priced and quality. Nonetheless, physical recycling remains dominant in the industry due to low CAPEX while requiring simple technical skills to operate compared to chemical recycling. Chemical recycling is a process to break down the macromolecule chains of polymers into a spectrum of chemical molecules under high temperature and inert conditions. The products of chemical recycling include pyro-gas, pyro-oil, and pyro-char. Thanks to the advanced separation technology, high purity output compounds can be obtained and further supplied to the relevant industries as virgin compounds for production. On the other hand, residues such as oil and char can be used as fuel for heaters and building materials.

CETD Corporation is seeking recommendations from your company for the potential valorization of plastic wastes using chemical recycling technology. The recommendation should include an analysis of the technical, economic, health and safety aspects of the project. The plant should be able to process 10 to 100 metric tonnes per day of plastic waste. The design should attempt to employ new modular manufacturing methods which are becoming more common in the chemical process industry. Modular manufacturing is the concept that complete chemical processes or sub-sections of chemical processes can be prefabricated in a factory setting. By comparison, many existing chemical plants are “stick-built”, meaning they were constructed outdoors at the plant site. Modular manufacturing can offer several advantages such as quality control, increased worker safety and labor efficiency, cost savings, faster time-to-market, and scalable capacity.

Special issues to be addressed:

  • The types of plastic wastes should be limited from 1 to 6 according to the international resin code. The process of cleaning and preparation of plastic waste needs to be covered. The handling of wastewater during the cleaning process needs to be considered as well.
  • Since plastic additives are commonly used in plastic products. The robustness of the chemical recycling process to tackle such additives needs to be considered with design solutions.
  • Take into consideration the implementation of unitary modular manufacturing or parallel modular manufacturing. The assumptions made during the estimation of plant capital costs using correlations/correction factors for conventional, large process equipment should be noted and addressed in your report.


The design submitted shall be original and have not been previously submitted or published elsewhere. The proposed plant should have at least one reactor and at least one separation unit operation.

Registration Fee

Malaysia Team
IEM members RM250/team (there will be additional charges of RM10 per person for Non-IEM Members)

International team – USD100


Training: TBA

Submission of

Progress Report: 10 AUG 2022

Final Design Report: 1 NOV 2022

Management Report & Presentation Slide: 10 DEC 2022

Design Finale: 17 DEC 2022

*Note: Date subject to change without prior notice

Organizing Committee

Dr. Ang Wei Lun

Mr. Vincent Khaw Wei Chuen
Ms. Eunice Phang Siew Wei

Committee members:
Ir. Dr. Chong Chien Hwa
Ir. Lee Teck Lii
Dr. Teow Yeit Haan
Ir. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lee Tin Sin
Ir. Prof. Dr. Dominic Foo Chwan Yee
Ir. Thayananthan Balakrishnan
Dr. Ho Kah Chun
Ir. Mohammad Fadhli bin Mat Shah
Ir. Prof. Dr. Thomas Choong Shean Yaw
Dr. Hazlina bt Husin
Ir. Prof. Dr. Tee Tiam Ting
Mr. Mohd Fauzi Zanil
Mr. Mohamad Anwar Ahmad
Mr. Ong Wei Rex

Prizes (with IEM Certificates)

1st Placing: TBA

2nd Placing: TBA

3rd Placing: TBA

Consolation Prize: TBA

Certificate will be given to all participants

Prizes for winners will be sponsored by Asian Pacific Confederation of Chemical Engineering (APCChE) in conjunction with the 19th APCChE Congress 2022


Chemical Engineering Design Competition 2021/2022 Secretariat

Ms. Nur Amira
Tel. No.: 603–7968 4026

Chemical Engineering Technical Division
The Institution of Engineers, Malaysia
Bangunan Ingenieur,
Lots 60 & 62, Jalan 52/ 4,
46720 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan.