Bioplastics-Benefits – biodegradable 01-02-2023

Bioplastics-Benefits – biodegradable

-Don’t Overestimate Bioplastics’ Benefits

Bioplastics may avoid some of the issues associated with non-biodegradable fossil fuel­–derived plastics, but they’re no panacea.

Plastics produced from plants are often considered less environmentally damaging than plastics made from petrochemicals. But scientists are warning that we should be careful making such assumptions.

A new literature review examining the results of around 20 scientific papers has found that bio-based plastics, most of which are made from cornstarch, can be just as toxic as their conventional cousins when dumped in coastal environments.

The review also shows that plastics marked as biodegradable often fail to break down in these environments. Bioplastics-Benefits – biodegradable

The paper highlights the lack of research into the environmental toxicity of bioplastics. The authors write that, for now at least, regulations on bioplastics need to be as tight as those for petroleum-based polymers.

Bioplastic production has boomed in recent years on the back of concerns around plastic waste and the carbon footprint of plastic production. According to European Bioplastics, an industry association, 2.4 million tonnes of bioplastics was made globally in 2021—a number expected to triple to around 7.5 million tonnes by 2026. This represents less than two percent of global plastic production.

The term bioplastics is quite broad. It covers both bio-based plastics, which are made from plants or other non–fossil fuel organic matter rather than petroleum, and biodegradable plastics, whether bio-based or made from fossil fuels. Bioplastics-Benefits – biodegradable

Bioplastics also aren’t necessarily different from conventional plastics, says Martin Wagner, an environmental toxicologist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology who was not involved in the review but whose work was included in the analysis. While some bioplastics are new chemical compounds, others are chemically identical to conventional plastics, just produced from carbon derived from plants rather than fossil fuels.

While acknowledging that there is not a lot of data available, and that much of it focuses on the same few bioplastics (such as polylactic acid and polyhydroxyalkanoates, which are mainly produced from starch from plants such as maize, sugar cane, and soybean), the review’s authors suggest that the toxic effects of bioplastics on marine and estuarine life can be of a similar magnitude as those from conventional plastics.

For instance, some of the studies included in the review show that both conventional plastics and bio-based plastics can affect how well mussels attach to rocks.

They can also affect the activity of enzymes in the mussels’ digestive systems and gills, and provoke an immune response and kick-start detoxification mechanisms.

However, bioplastics also come with their own unique problems.

Bio-based plastics, the review shows, can affect the marine environment in different ways than conventional plastic. For instance, two studies showed that plastic bags derived from cornstarch decrease the level of dissolved oxygen in marine substrates. The cornstarch plastic also causes the seafloor substrate to heat up. The authors of one paper suggest that the bioplastic had a sealing effect on the sediment. Bioplastics-Benefits – biodegradable

The failure of plastics certified as biodegradable or compostable to break down under marine conditions is not particularly surprising. Degradable bioplastics are designed to break down and convert at least 90 percent of their material into carbon dioxide under specific composting, industrial, and laboratory conditions, not on the beach or the seafloor. But the reviewed studies found that in realistic marine conditions, degradation rates vary hugely depending on the thickness and type of bioplastic. While some items completely degraded or disintegrated in a few months, others could take years to completely degrade.

Wagner says the attitude that some people hold that everything that is biological is better is problematic and based on wishful thinking. “I think the underlying assumption that just because it is bio-based or biodegradable that makes it safer needs to be challenged because there is just no logical reasoning why that should be,” he explains.

Elena Fabbri, an expert in plastic toxicity at the University of Bologna in Italy who also wasn’t involved in the review, agrees: “It’s not correct to say that bioplastics are necessarily safer.” Bioplastics-Benefits – biodegradable

Bioplastic development has focused on renewable feedstocks and sustainability, Wagner claims, but neglected the products’ sometimes unique safety issues. He says his work on bioplastics, such as starch-based and bamboo-based plastics, has shown that they contain toxic chemicals comparable to those in petroleum-based plastics. These toxic compounds could be either additives used to improve the functional performance of plastic, or substances added unintentionally, such as byproducts created during manufacturing, he explains.

Fabbri echoes Wagner, highlighting that many bioplastics contain thousands of additives. She adds that a large part of the problem is that manufacturers do not have to list the additives they use. This makes it challenging for researchers to identify these chemicals, she adds, as they do not know what they are looking for. Bioplastics-Benefits – biodegradable

While Fabbri believes bioplastics are a good innovation, she says we need to be certain they are safe and sustainable—and this includes the products of their degradation.

“If you produce bioplastic as a safer plastic, you should also ensure that everything coming out from those plastics—the microplastics, the fragments, and the leaching compounds—are safer as well,” Fabbri explains.

Bioplastics-Benefits - biodegradable

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Bioplastics-Benefits – biodegradable

Recyclable-Compostable-Plastic 31-01-2023

PET-Preform – MMF – EVO-bio-Yarn 26-11-2022

PET-Preform – MMF – EVO-bio-Yarn

-Sabic launches value chain partnership with Jinming and Bolsas to foster innovative flexible film packaging solutions

  • SABIC’s close collaboration with Guangdong Jinming Machinery Co., Ltd., and Bolsas de los Altos will focus on application development activities for flexible packaging.
  • The collaborative efforts will augment SABIC’s position in the Americas as a polyethylene resin supplier with local production capabilities

SABIC, a global leader in the chemicals industry, has teamed up with Guangdong Jinming Machinery Co., Ltd., a plastic packaging equipment manufacturer and Bolsas de los Altos, a leading plastic film and packaging converter to support growth of polyolefin based innovative applications in the flexible packaging segment. Engagement with value chain players remains critical to SABIC’s vision of bringing market driven innovation to customers. By exchanging mutual expertise on polymer technology and processing, this collaboration will secure the development of a robust applications pipeline based on current and future market trends.

Sustainability trends continue to transform the flexible packaging industry. As a result, incumbent film structures need to be updated to conform to latest circularity needs. A partnership involving SABIC’s deep materials knowledge, Jinming’s equipment manufacturing excellence and Bolsas’ converting capabilities can address these challenges. The collaboration will provide an outlet to test and validate performance of SABIC polyolefin resin products including polyethylene resin offerings from Gulf Coast Growth Ventures (GCGV) and from TRUCIRCLE™ , SABIC’s commitment to circularity for plastics. The collaborative efforts will feature installation of Jinming’s multilayer coextrusion machinery at Bolsas’ Mexico facility. PET-Preform – MMF – EVO-bio-Yarn

Waleed Al-Shalfan, Vice President Polymers Technology & Innovation at SABIC, said: “At SABIC, we continue to invest in market driven innovation to deliver value added solutions to our customers. We understand that partnerships with the right value chain players have the potential to bring newer, game changing innovations to the market faster. The current partnership with Jinming and Bolsas holds great promise to tap into mutual capabilities and adapt global trends in flexible packaging applications to regional needs.”

Mars Ma, General Manager of Jinming, commented: “It’s a great milestone to sign off this MOU which officially kicks-off the strategic collaborations among the 3 parties. It’s an excellent example of value chain collaboration. We are glad to work together with SABIC and Bolsas to address market needs via innovative solutions”

Guillermo Lopez Orozco, Founder and CEO of Bolsas de los Altos, added: “As a leading provider of plastic packaging, Bolsas de los Altos is excited to expand into the broader flexible packaging market. Flexible packaging has shown remarkable resilience in a market disrupted by a global pandemic and supply chain issues. The installation of multilayer coextrusion equipment at our Mexico facility made possible due to our collaborative partnership with Jinming and SABIC will allow us to target several new applications including long term sustainability trends in this space.”

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PET-Preform - MMF - EVO-bio-Yarn

-Complete End-to-End PET Preform Production

Husky’s new HyPET Complete is a connected production cell for molding preforms developed to address ongoing challenges faced by food and beverage packaging producers.

At Gulfood Manufacturing 2022 in Dubai, Husky Technologies debuted the HyPET Complete—a full manufacturing cell for the production of PET preforms billed by the company as the industry’s only complete, end-to-end, connected production system. Husky says HyPET Complete is built around its latest generation of HyPET systems, including those tailored for the production of rPET, and it includes a purpose-built drying solution, optimized energy management, enhanced melt control, automated mold cleaning, integrated part quality inspection, and more.

The company says this complete cell will help food and beverage packaging producers better deal with current market issues, including rising energy and material costs; supply chain fluctuations; skilled labor shortages; and demands to be more sustainable.

HyPET Complete applies an end-to-end approach incorporating factory planning and tooling lifecycle optimization, workforce training and development, a fully digitized delivery model and OEM parts, as well as the company’s Advantage+Elite predictive remote-monitoring platform. PET-Preform – MMF – EVO-bio-Yarn

Designed to enable producers to navigate through today’s most prevalent challenges, HyPET Complete is particularly relevant to producers who are looking for more energy efficient manufacturing processes and packaging materials, such as PET, to offset fluctuating costs.

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PET-Preform - MMF - EVO-bio-Yarn

-Reducing gas consumption in spunlace production

Researchers at the Center of Excellence in Nonwovens at the STFI (Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut) have developed an energy efficient system for drying spunlace fabrics.

As part of the project, the Chemnitz, Germany-based institute has installed a measurement and control system from Pleva which, designed to reduce gas consumption and optimize energy efficiency, includes sensors for measuring residual moisture, fabric temperature, exhaust humidity and a process control system.

Following the spunlace process, the high residual moisture content of the fabric means that the system begins with a contactless microwave moisture measurement using an AF 120 sensor. The sensor consists of two measuring heads, the transmitter and the receiver. The measuring principle is based on microwave absorption by the water content of the nonwoven. The more water there is in the nonwoven, the lower the signal at the receiver.

The magnitude of the absorption is a measure of the absolute residual moisture content of the nonwoven. This determination of the water content is used to optimize the subsequent dryer.

Inside the drum dryer, the nonwoven temperature is monitored with three TDS infrared sensors. This ensures that the quality of the spunlace nonwoven is not affected by overheating. The used infrared measurement is based on heat radiation exchange between the spunlace nonwoven and the infrared sensor. The measuring range of the TDS sensor is 0 – 250°C. PET-Preform – MMF – EVO-bio-Yarn

The exhaust air humidity in the screen drum dryer is monitored by the FS X air humidity sensor and can be regulated in the production process via an exhaust flap control. The absolute air humidity (water vapor) in the exhaust exit tube of the drum dryer is measured while the setting of the optimum air humidity value should be e.g. 90 g water/kg air under production conditions for textile dryers.

For measuring the low residual moisture after the drum dryer and therefore for controlling the fibre-dependent drying temperature, the system uses an RR sensor.

Used in applications of up to maximum of 30% residual moisture, this is a tandem roller sensor which monitors the residual moisture measurement in the centre of the nonwoven. The active principle is the contact measurement of very low residual moisture based on electrical conductivity. The defined contact pressure and perfect alignment to the nonwoven with the tandem roller sensor ensure the highest accuracy while a further advantage is the compensation of electrostatic charge at low residual moisture levels, particularly for synthetic fabrics.

PlevaTec

With the process visualization, the fabric temperature, residual moisture and exhaust air moisture measured by the corresponding sensors are monitored and the process values are adjusted on the spunlace system

Andreas Nestler, Research Associate at STFI highlights the newly achieved possibilities: “The profile of the residual moisture after the AquaJet and the drying temperature (fabric temperature) allow new optimization possibilities in the drying process. Gentle heating curves become possible, which prevent nonwoven surface damage. Also, the process and tolerance monitoring enables the improvement of the nonwoven quality, as it is not exposed to unnecessarily high drying temperatures.”

This is also an important aspect in terms of sustainability, as there are no more second choice goods or rejects, which ensures waste reduction and the subsequent saving of valuable resources. A comprehensive 10-day trend display/history and recipe management is also possible. PET-Preform – MMF – EVO-bio-Yarn

The drying process is carried out with highest energy efficiency and continuous data monitoring. The process visualization is a modular visualization and control system for the material moisture and for the drying process.

At various customer trials with this implemented system of sensors and process control, the STFI says it achieved the goal of an energy efficient nonwoven production line. “With the technology it was possible to lower the drying temperature by 40°C (from 100°C to 60°C) running on target moisture. For viscose the residual moisture was set to 5-7%. In summary, with these optimizations, a used gas volume reduction of 20% was achieved with a given full transferability to industrial dryers.”

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PET-Preform - MMF - EVO-bio-Yarn

-Oerlikon’s sustainable plant solutions for the manmade fiber industry in India and Bangladesh

The Swiss Oerlikon Group’s Polymer Processing Solutions division will be presenting itself at the ITME 2022 under the banner of ‘From Melt to Yarn, Fibers and Nonwovens’. The international trade fair is taking place in the India Exposition Mart Ltd., Noida, close to New Delhi, India. Between December 8 and 13 this year, more than 1800 exhibitors and over 150.000 visitors are expected. Oerlikon will be presenting a broad range of products and services focused on manufacturing and processing manmade fibers. Oerlikon’s team of experts is very much looking forward to seeing you at booth C15 in Hall 11.

In addition to various new component exhibits from the fields of continuous polycondensation including gear metering pumps, filament (POY, FDY, IDY, BCF) and staple fiber spinning, texturing as well as nonwovens production, the dialog with all customers will now more than ever after almost 6 years without an ITME in India be again at the center of the trade show activities. PET-Preform – MMF – EVO-bio-Yarn

For Oerlikon, this will be the third major appearance in the region in the fourth quarter of this year, after having had in November two exciting and interesting customer events in Daman, India, and Dhaka, Bangladesh. This is also because the important markets of India and Bangladesh are currently still standing out in terms of their investment behaviour and currently offer good opportunities for further polymer processing projects. More than 250 participants discussed the technology and market analysis presentations held by Oerlikon experts, at the Oerlikon Technology Symposium in Daman, India. Afterwards, all guests celebrated the 100th anniversary of Oerlikon Barmag and the 75th independence of India with a big gala event.

India right now continues to have above-average economic growth with a 6.8% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2022. Experts speak of “a bright spot in a global gloom”. Some facts and figures:

▪ The textile industry in India is one of the largest in the world with a large raw material base and manufacturing strength across the value chain.

▪ India is the 2nd largest producer of MMF Fiber. India is the 6th largest exporter of textiles and apparel in the world.

▪ India became the second-largest manufacturer of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits in the world.

▪ India is the 6th largest producer of technical textiles with a 6% Global Share (12% CAGR), the largest producer of cotton and jute in the world.

▪ The industry contributes to 7% of industrial output in value terms, 2% of India’s GDP and 12% of the country’s export earnings.

▪ The share of textile, apparel and handicrafts in India’s total exports was 10.62% in 2021-22.

▪ The textile industry in India is one of the largest economic sectors that contributes the most to job creation in the country. It engages 16.73 lakhs of people consisting of 10.28 % of the total employment share.

▪ The domestic apparel and textile industry in India contributes 2.3% to the country’s GDP, 7% of industry output in value terms.

▪ The domestic textiles and apparel industry stood at USD 152 bn in 2021.

“Major growth of textiles will come from Manmade Fiber industry”, said Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Textiles, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Commerce & Industry at the end of October in India. He suggested that the industry should understand each other and work in synergy to amicably resolve the issues among the producers and users of polyester in the entire value chain. Industry representatives responded that they are hopeful of achieving the export of 100 billion USD in the next 5 to 6 years.

Success in the markets

In India, however, things continue to go very well for Oerlikon in other respects. In the middle of the year, the joint venture Oerlikon Barmag Huitong (Yangzhou) Engineering Co. Ltd. also recorded a major success. PET-Preform – MMF – EVO-bio-Yarn

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Oerlikon’s sustainable plant solutions for the manmade fiber industry in India and Bangladesh

-Palsgaard, Korean Converter Collaborate to Optimize Shelf-Life of Packaged Food

Aesthetics, safety, and sustainability of sensitive food packaging is addressed with a plant-based, food-grade anti-fogging additive.

Palsgaard, a supplier of plant-based additives for the plastics industry, says that its Einar 611 bio-based anti-fog surfactant has been successfully specified by a major Korean supplier of food-grade polyethylene (PE) film products. The customer had been looking for a cold anti-fogging additive that would effectively protect the packaged food from spoilage by preventing the formation of condensation droplets on the inside of the film at low concentration levels. At the same time, the surfactant had to eliminate regulatory concerns with regard to its chemistry and provide superior functional performance at cost-effective low concentration. PET-Preform – MMF – EVO-bio-Yarn

“The importance of food packaging and its role is ever-changing, from the mere protection of food items from the outside in nice packaging to concerns about food safety and product shelf life,” says Ulrik Aunskjaer, Global Business Director for Bio-Specialty Polymer Additives at Palsgaard. “Our plant-based Einar 611 anti-fog has proven itself a perfect choice in this PE film application to minimize the risk of moisture accumulating in small reservoirs on the inner surface of the packaging film, where bacteria could grow and then drop down and spoil the food.”

Effective alternative to conventional anti-fogging chemistries

As a renewable polyglycerol ester made of certified palm oil from Malaysia that does not compete with food or feed sources, Einar 611 has been developed as a highly effective replacement for conventional anti-fogging chemistries, such as glycerol monooleate or sorbitan esters, in demanding PE film formulations designed for sensitive food packaging. With anti-fog performance matching or exceeding that of non-vegetable fossil-based incumbents, it reportedly delivers excellent results in low-density and linear-low-density PE as well as co-extruded and laminated PE film at low loading levels — typically 0.2% to 0.4% — for both cold- and hot-fog applications. Moreover, it has proven itself as an ideal additive in PE masterbatches and shows no adverse effects on the mechanical, optical, or barrier properties of the film, while offering high heat resistance and low volatility, according to Palsgaard. The bio-based anti-fog surfactant is available in paste form.

From a perspective of food safety, the long-lasting anti-fog performance of Einar 611 can make a significant contribution to the reduction of food waste by preserving its freshness. The additive supports a clear view on the packaged product, which promotes its consumer appeal over a longer shelf-life, and meets all global food-contact standards, including kosher and halal. PET-Preform – MMF – EVO-bio-Yarn

“While there is opposition from the food industry to palm oil such as in France, when sustainably produced, palm oil is the highest yielding plant oil,” commented Ulrik Aunskjaer, Director, Bio-Specialty Additives at Palsgaard. The company also grows its own rapeseed in Europe as an alternative bio-based raw material.

Sustainable production practices

In addition, Einar 611 anti-fog is produced in CO2-neutral factories, thus helping PE film manufacturers, masterbatch makers, and processors to minimize their Scope 3 emissions and mitigate fossil depletion. According to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, Scope 1 refers to direct emissions from production processes, Scope 2 to indirect emissions from energy use, and Scope 3 to all other indirect emissions, such as from material supplies, packaging, and transportation.

Along with expanding its production capacities, Palsgaard continues investing in its own Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon-neutral production processes. Its Juelsminde site in Denmark achieved Scope 1 neutrality in 2018, but further investments will now be required as capacity is added.

The company is constructing a biogas plant that will employ wastewater from Palsgaard and become operational in early 2023, covering 10% of the required gas supply on-site. It already operates a biogas plant at the Juelsminde municipal wastewater treatment plant in a public-private partnership. PET-Preform – MMF – EVO-bio-Yarn

Another project scheduled to commence in spring 2023 is the construction of a 60-acre solar power plant with an annual capacity of 60 GWh, generating sufficient renewable electricity to power all future capacity expansions currently planned at Juelsminde.

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Palsgaard, Korean Converter Collaborate to Optimize Shelf-Life of Packaged Food

-Pangaia chooses Evo by Fulgar for activewear

Brand launches new generation activewear 3.0 made from bio-based materials.

Materials Science Brand Pangaia has chosen Evo bio-based yarn by Fulgar, the leading manufacturer of man-made fibres, for the launch of its new Activewear 3.0 collection,

The decision provides further confirmation of the green, innovative direction the brand is taking, reflecting its mission – to find innovative materials that promote biodiversity, eliminating petrochemical products and supporting a positive future for the climate.

“The activewear sector generally uses materials with entirely petrochemical origins, reflecting a need for significant benefits in moisture absorption and performance. However, the introduction of a greater number of bio-based materials means we’ve been able to replace fossil fuels with renewable resources. This is the choice we’ve made for Pangaia’s Activewear 3.0 collection. Our partnership with Fulgar and the use of Evo yarn has enabled us to create a new generation of sustainable, high-performance activewear,” says Amanda Parkes, Chief innovation officer of The Pangaia. PET-Preform – MMF – EVO-bio-Yarn

Evo by Fulgar yarn is made from castor oil, a renewable and sustainable resource. The castor oil plant, Fulgar says, grows spontaneously in arid regions, does not require large amounts of water areas and does not take up land that where food crops can be grown. The biomass from which Evo by Fulgar is formed by castor oil seed and the monomers used in the polymerisation process are partially or totally derived from castor oil.

In all, Fulgar explains, the yarn offers the characteristics of the finest quality nylon and is suitable for all textile applications, from sportswear to hosiery, as it is high-performance, very light, stretchy and breathable. It dries quickly, is non-iron and boasts natural thermal and bacteriostatic properties.

The extensive series of distinctive values and benefits provide maximum comfort and unique performance while respecting the natural world. As a result, they are perfectly in line with Pangaia’s philosophy of ‘high-tech naturalism’ and are the perfect solution for the creation of the new Activewear 3.0 capsule.

Made from 99.99% Evo nylon and 30% creora elastane, both of vegetable origin, the capsule is the brand’s most bio-based proposal so far. The evolution of Pangaia activewear is said to be an experience in revolutionary wearability, with seamless garments offering extensive benefits in terms of comfort and stretch, and in movement. With second skin properties, the garments create a sensation of light compression and enable wearers to keep cool and fresh for longer thanks to the patented PPRMINT treatment with natural peppermint oil. PET-Preform – MMF – EVO-bio-Yarn

“We’re very happy to be working once again side-by-side with Pangaia in its progress towards increasingly green collections, made possible by the properties of our ecological yarns. It’s a significant recognition of our long-standing commitment to eco-sustainable research and development towards an ethical, circular and increasingly sustainable activewear supply chain,” says Alan Garosi, Head of Marketing at Fulgar.

Pangaia’s Activewear 3.0 collection with Evo by Fulgar – available online at www.pangaia.com – comprises four key models in three colour versions: bra (€55), crop-top (€80 euro), shorts (€65 euro) and leggings (€100 euro) in black, leaf green and cerulean blue.

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Pangaia chooses Evo by Fulgar for activewear

-It is time for a thorough debate on CO2 utilisation

There has never been a more exciting time for carbon capture, yet EU policies need to provide a predicable regulatory framework and allow for a strong business case, writes Koen Coppenholle, CEO of CEMBUREAU, the European Cement Associaton.

The past months have been marked by significant headways for Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) in the EU. A large number pilot and demonstration projects have been launched by cement companies across Europe, with the first of them becoming operational as early as 2024. PET-Preform – MMF – EVO-bio-Yarn

Recent ETS Innovation Fund calls also supported a great variety of CCUS projects, strengthening the EU’s global leadership on the technology. Politically, carbon capture is equally getting a strong momentum: Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson announced a Communication on a strategic vision during the recent CCUS Forum, whilst Executive Vice-President Timmermans highlighted at a recent CEMBUREAU event the crucial role that the technology will play.

These investments in CCUS in the cement industry should not surprise anyone. According to our sector’s Carbon Neutrality Roadmap, CCUS  represents 42% of the cement industry’s emission reductions by 2050. Process emissions, roughly representing two thirds of cement manufacturing CO2 emissions, are unavoidable and even if we push hard on all other decarbonisation levers, carbon capture is indispensable to meet our carbon neutrality ambitions.

Yet, despite this renewed momentum, there is a high degree of uncertainty around the use of CO2 from industrial sources. This uncertainty was ignited by the Commission’s Communication on Sustainable Carbon Cycles (December 2021) which states that “fossil carbon should be replaced by more sustainable streams of recycled carbon from waste, sustainable biomass and directly from the atmosphere”. In the Communication, no timeline has been put on the replacement of ‘fossil carbon’.  The recent Commission Draft Delegated Act on the greenhouse gas saving criteria for recycled carbon fuels does introduce such timeline, at least for the production of synthetic fuels. According to this proposal, CO2 from industrial sources can no longer be used after 2035 in the production of synthetic fuels.

This draft Delegated Act has been met with consternation within the EU cement industry. There are currently major CO2 utilisation projects under development – some of which are actually supported by the EU’s own ETS Innovation Fund – in the sector to develop synthetic fuels. These involve highly significant CapEx and OpEx, and are planned on a return on investments of several decades. These CO2 utilisation projects are actually vital for the decarbonisation of the sector, as many of the 200 cement kilns on the European territory are landlocked with no easily available CO2 storage-site within reach. Faced with unavoidable CO2 emissions, it is crucial that these plants have the possibility to re-use the CO2 they capture into fuels and products.

We do take the point made by the European Commission that synthetic fuels using industrial CO2 are not a fully “net zero solution”, to the extent that the captured CO2 is re-emitted into the atmosphere when the fuel is used by the airplane, ship or truck. However, even if not a carbon neutral solution, synthetic fuels (and the re-utilisation of CO2 in general) make a decisive contribution to climate mitigation in the short to medium term, by considerably reducing the amount of CO2 emissions and reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Faced with a climate emergency and a shortage of alternative CO2 sources in the short to medium term, why would the EU proceed with legislation that endangers the business case for a key decarbonisation avenue for the cement and transport sector altogether?

The very reasons behind the proposed phase-out of industrial CO2  are unclear, nor is the choice of 2035 as phase-out date. The Commission seems to consider 2035 as “long-term” which does, however, not coincide with business reality in sectors with investment cycles of 30-35 years. There is further no detailed impact assessment on the availability of what the Commission defines as sustainable sources of CO2. For DAC, forecasts estimate between 154 and 227 million tonnes by 2050 with no estimation of DAC/BECC availability for the trajectory 2030 to 2050 and only some reference to a 5 million tonnes target by 2030 in the Commission’s Sustainable Carbon Cycles Communication.

The publication of the draft Delegated Act highlights the need for a thorough debate on the future of CO2 use from industrial sources. PET-Preform – MMF – EVO-bio-Yarn

Such CO2 use is currently a key component of climate mitigation and decarbonisation initiatives in several energy-intensive sectors. More than ever, we need an open discussion on carbon use from industrial sources, covering both the continued need for carbon as feedstock for industrial production, and the level at which these needs can be met by the different sources of CO2.

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It is time for a thorough debate on CO2 utilisation

PET-Preform – MMF – EVO-bio-Yarn

Shrink-film – FDCA – PEF – Tires 25-11-2022

PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging 14-11-2022

PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

Viscose-Staple-Fiber – Petrochemicals 

PLA-Biopolymer - rPET-packaging

Crude Oil Prices Trend 

Crude Oil Prices Trend Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend Polyestertime

-Earthfirst® Films Receives Home Compostable Film Certifications from TUV Austria

Earthfirst® Films Expands Film Options With Certified Home Compostable Print, Sealant and Flow Wrap Films

Earthfirst® Films added a line of TUV NF T51-800 certified home compostable films to its existing line of industrial compostable options. PHA in combination with other biopolymers, are engineered for films with at least 85% new carbon content¹. Available in print, sealant and flow wrap films, these new options expand End of Life (EOL) environments as well as provide greater accessibility to a larger consumer base.

Inherent in their chemistry, home compostable films are Greenhouse Gas (GHG) favorable to industry fossil-fuel based alternates and naturally lower packaging’s carbon footprint. The new films are built for performance within food, grocery retail, quick service restaurant, stadium foodservice and other consumer and industrial market segments.

“We are dedicated to bioplastic film innovation and passionate about advancing sustainability for a healthier planet,” cited Guenther Winnerl, Earthfirst® Films Chief Commercial Officer.PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

“Our customers are transitioning to compostable films as part of their brand identity. Some are preparing for 2025 sustainability commitments and regulatory bills and our portfolio of films contributes to their objectives,” Winnerl continues.

Earthfirst® Films are DIN CERTCO certified for Industrial Compostability and TUV Austria Certified for Home Compostability. All Earthfirst Films are FDA compliant for food contact.

¹Percentages are subject to change with any biopolymer formulation changes for film properties

For more information on Earthfirst® Biopolymer Films, visit earthfirstfilms.com.

Earthfirst® Biopolymer Films by PSI – Americas| Earthfirst Biopolymer Films by Sidaplax – EMEA

Earthfirst® Biopolymer Films is a global manufacturer of bio polymer EarthFirst® compostable packaging films within food, beverage, quick-serve restaurants and other consumers packaged goods (CPG) and industrial market segments.

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PLA-Biopolymer - rPET-packaging

-Covestro, Hasco Vision partner on PIR polycarbonate

As the drive for more circularity in plastics continues to accelerate, the industry is having to rethink practices long taken for granted. In some cases, the result has been a radical departure from ‘business as usual’.

A good example is the recent agreement signed between China’s leading auto lighting supplier Hasco Vision and materials manufacturer Covestro establishing a partnership between the two companies that will ultimately contribute to the low-carbon development of carmakers.

The companies aim to build a closed-loop recycling business model that would guarantee that the plastic waste generated during the manufacture of automotive lamps is recycled into high quality and traceable post-industrial recycled polycarbonates and polycarbonate blends. Often, the difficulty with recycled materials is that these tend not to be either. Transparency regarding the origin of recycled plastics is often lacking, making them unsuitable for use in the auto industry, where strict standards and regulations apply with respect to the materials used. PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

Covestro has for many years supplied Hasco Vision with the raw materials it needs to produce vehicle lamps.

According to the new agreement signed at Covestro’s booth at the China International Import Expo, Covestro will also collaborate with other partners in the recycling industry to retrieve used plastics from Hasco’s manufacturing sites before turning them into the kind of high-quality PIR polycarbonates and polycarbonate blends that Hasco can use to produce new automotive components.

This collaboration allows full transparency and traceability along the value chain, said Lily Wang, Head of the Engineering Plastics segment at Covestro, and will ‘ensure the supply of consistently high-quality PIR plastics to meet the growing demands for more sustainable materials and lower emissions in the automotive industry’.

The closed-loop recycling of post-industrial plastics is an effective sustainability solution as such recycled materials have “virgin-like” quality, are easily traceable and help reduce the carbon footprint of vehicles compared with conventional fossil-based materials.

“This innovative cooperation between HASCO and Covestro breaks with convention in terms of raw materials supply as it focuses on using post-industrial recycled materials to create a circular economy,” said Jinlong Ao, Deputy General Manager and Chief Technology Officer of Hasco Vision.

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PLA-Biopolymer - rPET-packaging

-NatureWorks Selects General Contractor for New Fully Integrated Ingeo™️ PLA Biopolymer Manufacturing Facility in Thailand

Early-works construction on the new biopolymer manufacturing site began in June 2022 with expected completion of the facility on schedule for the second half of 2024.

Early-works construction on NatureWorks’s new Ingeo PLA manufacturing facility in Thailand began in June 2022 keeping expected completion of the facility on schedule for the second half of 2024. PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

NatureWorks, the world’s leading manufacturer of low-carbon polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymers made from renewable resources, has selected TTCL Public Company Limited (SET: TTCL) as the general contractor for procurement, construction, commissioning, and startup support services for their new Ingeo™️ PLA manufacturing complex in Thailand. The new facility is designed to be fully integrated and will include production of lactic acid, lactide, and polymer. Located on the Nakhon Sawan Biocomplex (NBC) in Nakhon Sawan Province, the manufacturing site will have an annual capacity of 75,000 tons of Ingeo biopolymer and will produce the full portfolio of Ingeo grades.

In June 2022, site preparation for the new manufacturing facility at the NBC was completed and NatureWorks signed an agreement with Sino Thai Engineering and Construction PCL (STECON) to begin early-works construction for piling, underground piping, storm water management, and tank foundations. Currently underway, the early-works construction progress keeps completion of the facility on schedule for the second half of 2024.PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

“We are pleased to see the continued progress on the construction of our second Ingeo manufacturing complex that will help us address the increasing global market demand for sustainable materials,” said Steve Bray, VP of Operations at NatureWorks. “With the selection of TTCL as our general contractor, we are looking forward to leveraging their expertise in executing large, highly technical capital projects in Thailand.”

NatureWorks expects to hold a cornerstone laying ceremony to honor the progress of site construction in February 2023.

In 2021, NatureWorks first announced the authorization for initiating their global capacity expansion plan beginning with their second Ingeo biopolymer manufacturing facility in Thailand. NatureWorks became the first company to produce PLA biopolymers at commercial scale in 2002. NatureWorks expanded its flagship Blair, Nebraska facility to an annual total capacity of 150,000 metric tons in 2013 with an additional capacity expansion announced in 2020 to further increase the availability of Ingeo biopolymers.

The expanded global production of Ingeo biopolymers will support growth in markets including 3D printing and hygiene as well as compostable coffee capsules, tea bags, flexible packaging, and food serviceware that demand sustainable, low-carbon materials and require the high-performance attributes that Ingeo is uniquely suited to deliver.

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NatureWorks Selects General Contractor for New Fully Integrated Ingeo™️ PLA Biopolymer Manufacturing Facility in Thailand

-Bio-Polyamide, Specialty Polyamide and Precursors Market to capture a CAGR of 6% during 2022-2032

During the projected period, the bio-polyamide, specialty polyamide, and precursors market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6%. The market is expected to be worth US$ 185.47 million in 2022 and US$ 332.15 million by 2032.

Polyamide is among the more dominant of engineering plastics with applications in various end-user industries including automotive, electronics, construction, sports equipment and consumer goods. Polyamide, also known as nylon occurs in nature in form of silk and wool and can be produced artificially through polymerization.

Polyamide-66 and polyamide-6 are among the most dominant artificially made polyamide employed mainly in the production of fibers. Polyamides such as polyamide-11, polyamide-12 are employed primarily as engineering plastics.PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

Undecanoic acid and sebacic acid derived from castor oil are among the most dominant raw materials used in the production of bio based polyamide. Owing to the eco logical benefits, bio based polyamides are gaining acceptance and are anticipated to be the fastest growing product segment during the forecast period.

Caprolactam, Adipic Acid and Hexamethylenediamine are dominant precursors for polyamides. Caprolactam, a monomer of polyamide 6 is the most dominant precursor. Automotives is the largest application segment for polyamide and the trend is expected to continue in the near future. Demand for polyamide in packaging applications is expected to outdo other application segments in terms of growth rate during the forecast period.

Several end user industries for polyamide include consumer goods hence, GDP growth rate and increasing disposable income of people in a region are some of the important determinants for polyamide demand in a region.

Characteristics such as light weight, abrasion resistance and chemical resistance of polyamide make polyamides suitable for transportation applications.

Transportation applications have been a major factor driving demand for polyamides. Castor oil is the most dominant raw material employed in the production of bio based polyamide. PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

India is among the leading suppliers of castor oil and is also expected to be among the fastest growing region for the demand of bio-polyamide, specialty polyamide and precursors. Growing investment in the emerging economies of India, China and Brazil is expected to drive market growth during the forecast period.

Petroleum based products are used in the production of several specialty polyamide. Therefore, volatile pricing of raw material has been a major restraint for these polyamides. Increasing research and development activities to improve efficiency of bio based polyamide is expected to offer huge growth opportunity in the market.

Asia Pacific dominates the global demand for bio-polyamide, specialty polyamide and precursors and the trend is expected to continue during the forecast period. Increasing industrial investment and high economic growth rate in the emerging economies of India and China has been a major factor driving demand for bio-polyamide, specialty polyamide and precursors in the region.

China dominates the global bio-polyamide, specialty polyamide and precursors both in terms of production and consumption. North America is the second largest consumer for polyamides.PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

Demand for bio-polyamide, specialty polyamide and precursors in North America and Europe is anticipated to grow at a sluggish rate primarily owing to market saturation in various end user industries. Emerging economies in South America are anticipated to drive the demand for polyamide in the RoW region.

Bio-polyamide, specialty polyamide and precursors market is concentrated and dominated by few major players. Ascend Performance Materials Inc., E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Honeywell International Inc., Li Peng Enterprise Co., Shenma Industrial Co. Ltd., Nantong Jingshan Polyamide Fibre Co., Ltd., Synergy Polymers are some of the major players in the bio-polyamide, specialty polyamide and precursors market.

This research report presents a comprehensive assessment of the market and contains thoughtful insights, facts, historical data and statistically-supported and industry-validated market data and projections with a suitable set of assumptions and methodology. It provides analysis and information by categories such as market segments, regions, product types and distribution channels. PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

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Bio-Polyamide, Specialty Polyamide and Precursors Market to capture a CAGR of 6% during 2022-2032

-Sustainable rigid packaging – SACMI to host the AIM “Technological Day” on new cellulose-based materials

From pioneering research to applied technology, building the development prospects of an entire industry: cellulose-based materials for rigid sustainable packaging is a hot topic, and will be the focus of the Technological Day organized by AIM (Italian Association of Science and Macromolecule Technology), scheduled for 22nd November 2022.

Hosted by SACMI – a member of the Association’s governing council and scientific board – the day will bring together leading figures from the worlds of research, university and business, including technology users and providers alike.

Always at the forefront of advanced research into polymers – from both a scientific and technical-application perspective – AIM turns the spotlight on an area that is increasingly viewed as a ‘pillar’ of sustainability in rigid packaging.PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

The most abundant polymer of natural origin, cellulose is in fact sustainable by definition. No fossil fuels are needed to obtain it. Above all, at the end of their life cycles, cellulose-based products can be disposed of together with other compostable materials or fed into the paper recycling chain (depending on formulation).

Hence the keen interest in the possibility of making packaging items – containers and especially closures – from compounds with plastic polymers, or even near-pure cellulose fiber that has been treated with additives to give it the required water-repellent, strength and sealing properties.

Achieving these ambitious goals will involve several scientific and technological challenges; such issues will be the focus of the protagonists’ talks on 22nd November.

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Sustainable rigid packaging - SACMI to host the AIM "Technological Day" on new cellulose-based materials

-Andritz delivers textile recycling line to France

Andritz delivered, installed, and commissioned a full textile recycling line for Renaissance Textile in Laval, France.

The project’s goal is to create new fibers from the gathered post-consumer clothing, which will ultimately be woven into new recycled fabrics. The brand-new 12,000 m2 facility has a full tearing line.PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

Nicolas Nojac, director of Renaissance Textile, comments: “Our first recycling line is dedicated to white polycotton textiles that mainly come from the healthcare and food processing industries. This equipment enables us to recycle 3,000 tons of textiles every year, representing 10 million items of clothing. We also plan to install two additional lines by the end of 2023 and 2025, respectively, to enlarge the range of recycled textiles by adding different colors and fibers”. In this context, the company plans to create 110 new direct jobs by 2025.

Source: Andritz

CHALLENGES. SOLUTIONS.

The world of textiles and the textile industry should be under no illusions about their responsibilities. The price of fast fashion is that making clothes accounts for around 10 % percent of CO2 emissions from human activity. Despite the need for circularity in our use of resources, the clothing industry has been fed by a distinctly linear value chain. Clothing is notoriously over-supplied, and while it might be resold, recycled into cloths or insulation, much of it ends up incinerated or in landfill. Textile-to-textile circularity has been conspicuously absent.

But this is changing thanks to media pressure, consumer demand, regulations, and technology. Our ignorance about the price the planet pays for our full wardrobes is at last being replaced by a deep concern about the impact of textiles on the environment. There is also an increasing awareness of the need to make greater use of sustainable raw materials in the fiber and textile production. Meanwhile, existing technologies are proving highly adaptable to textile recycling, and projects that take recycling a step further into true circularity are flourishing. PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

As part of its ESG Environment Social Governance (ESG) program, the ANDRITZ GROUP is at the core of the movement to provide industrially and economically viable solutions for recycling pre- and post-consumer waste made from natural and synthetic fibers. There is no single, catch-all solution to the recycling of textiles, and this plays to ANDRITZ’s strengths because the group has such a diversity of solutions to offer and several cooperation partners covering the value chain from recovery of fibers to chemical modification and preparation for the production of yarn.

Some solutions are derived from strong expertise in the field of pulp and paper; others have been developed specifically for textiles. As a whole, they offer single and multiple complementary technologies to address the needs of different textile recycling challenges.

What follows is a brief resumé of ANDRITZ’s scope of supply for textile waste recycling machinery.

CONDITIONING OF FEED MATERIAL

Conditioning of textile waste lays the foundation for the subsequent textile recycling process, whether it is based on mechanical, chemical, combined, or other customer-specific treatment. Numerous parameters influencing the choice of technology include the nature of the waste (garments, linens, carpets, white/colored textiles, etc.), the feeding conditions (e.g., baled or loose feed material), the required size of the shredded textiles in output, the presence of impurities such as zippers, the output purity, the capacity, and all other requirements of downstream processing.PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

ANDRITZ Reject and Recycling offers single equipment units and complete conditioning systems, from material feed and shredding right up to the finally conditioned material. A landmark was ANDRITZ Reject and Recycling’s order in 2021 from Swedish company Renewcell for a 60,000 t/a textile recycling line, featuring ADuro shredders, for its first large-scale textile-to-textile recycling plant in Sundsvall. At the same time, shredding systems capable of managing volumes of up to 200 t/d are being developed and optimized in combination with the separation technique, based on trials conducted in the ART Center (ANDRITZ Recycling Technology Center) near Graz, Austria.

Complementary to the services of ANDRITZ Reject and Recycling, ANDRITZ Laroche offers a different mechanical conditioning process based on tearing. With more than 2,000 reference projects worldwide offering one of the largest installed bases for textile recycling mills, ANDRITZ Laroche’s mechanical recycling process can be preparatory to the following main options: nonwovens production lines, short staple fiber spinning mills for yarn “respinning” with the creation of woven or knitted fabrics, including blends of up to 100 % recycled fibers, or to downstream chemical processes for the production of new man-made fibers if required. Let’s look at those markets.

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Andritz delivers textile recycling line to France

-Avoid Four Common Traps In Granulation

Today, more than ever, granulation is an important step in the total production process. Our expert explains a few of the many common traps to avoid when thinking about granulators

Today, more than ever, granulation is an important step in the total production process. For many processors, specifically those making industrial parts, regrind has often been considered a problem or a necessary evil. Now, due to the higher cost of materials combined with increased demands from customers to include reground and/or recycled materials in the product, the use of regrind should be viewed as a significant marketing opportunity as well as a cost-saving method.PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

With the advances in cutting technology and machine design, reductions in energy consumption, and increased automation available for size-reduction systems, there are many cost-effective solutions available to provide quality regrind to the manufacturing process without adversely affecting production rates, part quality, or the plant environment. The following are just a few of the many common “traps” to avoid when thinking about granulation and granulators specifically.

TRAP 1: A GRANULATOR UNSUITED FOR THE TASK

A major trap is to think that a granulator is just a granulator and that horsepower and throat size are all you need to know to specify an effective granulation process. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ask any blow molder who has been in the business for more than 10 years and you will more than likely find that they have experienced their products “floating” on the rotor. The product bounces around in the cutting chamber for long periods before it is finally ingested by the rotor. This leads to lower throughputs than expected from the machinery as well as very poor regrind quality.

In order to cut material efficiently, you’ll need a granulator configured specifically for your application. If not, expect higher energy consumption, excessive dust and noise, lower capacity, and increased knife wear. Today, most sophisticated granulator machinery suppliers offer modular products that allow the builder to configure core machine components to match the specific application requirements.

You’ll need at least seven critical pieces of information to size the granulator appropriately:

  • Application or process: Each process—blow molding, injection molding, extrusion, recycling—imposes different demands on a granulator.
  • Material: Different materials can react very differently in a granulator.
  • Method of feeding: Will it be manual, conveyor, robot, or roll feeding, relief head, etc.?
  • Part description: A physical description of the intended parts, such as bottles, runners, or sheet, is essential to proper configuration of the granulator.
  • Part dimensions: Try to capture the range of potential part sizes include largest and smallest, thickest and thinnest.
  • Capacity: What lb/hr or kg/hr is expected?
  • Screen size: What final particle size do you want to reintroduce into your process?

Through careful analysis of the above information, an experienced size-reduction professional will be able to design and recommend an appropriate solution for what the processor is trying to achieve. This should include options on rotor and cutting-chamber design and the number of fixed knives required. Effective hopper design will be chosen to accommodate the parts and eliminate flyback generated during granulation.

In addition to matching the machine to the application, machine builders will be able to provide the processor with a list of options that will help them with running the machine, such as high-level and high-amp alarms, soundproofing of the hopper and base, and a variety of evacuation and electrical control options.

TRAP 2: A GRANULATOR THAT IS HARD TO MAINTAIN

Maintenance of granulators and their critical cutting components is the most neglected area of service in many plants. Maintenance is often put off because of time considerations—that is, the granulator design does not lend itself to the task. Poor or inadequate instruction manuals and lack of supporting solutions to simplify functions such as knife servicing make matters worse. Lack of maintenance alone can lead to the most common problem associated with regrind—poor quality granulate with excessive fines and high dust content in the material and in the plant environment.PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

The two major reasons for dust and fines are dull and/or improperly gapped knives. The sharper the knives, the more efficiently the granulator will cut the scrap, especially with soft, energy-absorbing materials such as thermoplastic rubber or polyolefin films. Sharper knives produce a cleaner cut without pulling and tearing, yielding higher throughputs, less dust and fines, less noise, and greater energy efficiency.

Today, most leading granulator manufacturers realize that with the increasing cost of materials and shrinking maintenance budgets, it’s important that granulators be designed for easy cleaning and knife maintenance. Quick and safe access to the heart of the granulator is critical for optimal productivity.

Think about a processor running multiple colors and materials in short-run production cycles, who needs to clean the machine thoroughly between each run to avoid contamination. The granulator must be designed to allow the operator to visibly confirm that the machine is clean while ensuring that the operator is safe when inside the machine. That is, the granulator should have redundant safety switches for maximum safety and should have features such as power-assisted tilt-back hoppers, rotor locking devices, and easily accessible and removable screen cradles and screens. Visibly clean means the operator should have visual paths to all areas of the machine—no hidden nooks and crannies—to inspect and confirm the machine is free from all previous colors or materials that may lead to contamination in the next run.

TRAP 3: A GRANULATOR WITH A POOR KNIFE DESIGN

Another common trap is knife positioning and design with little or no scissor-cutting action, poor rotor design (static rotating knives), non-optimized location of fixed knives, and less than optimal rotor knife speed. Any or all of these can lead to non-uniform regrind with high dust and fines content and also lead to a high level of wear and tear on the granulator.PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

Always look for a feature known as “adjustable rotating knives.” These knives are the ones bolted to the rotor. Along with the fixed knives, they must be kept properly gapped and sharpened.

In older granulator designs, these knives are generally fixed to the rotor and thus not adjustable. Because you remove knife material whenever you resharpen, the effective rotor diameter can become smaller and smaller over the life of the knife. Typically about 10 mm or 3/8 in. of knife material can be removed over several resharpenings.

With an older machine design, the normal procedure is to move the fixed knives forward to compensate for the material ground off the rotating knives. This results in a reduction of the cutting diameter of the granulator and increases the distance from the rotating knife tips to the screen. As you also cut material against the screen, this increased distance between the knife tips and the screen leads to the “balling” of the material on top of the screen, and a much longer residence time of the material in the cutting chamber, generating considerably more dust and fines.

Additionally, moving the fixed (bed) knife forward to compensate for the shortened rotating knives leads to creation of a “shelf” in the cutting chamber, where the material can easily build up. This shelf impedes the feed into the down stroke of the cutting chamber and results in less-effective cutting.

Pre-adjustable knives and cassette knives are features found on more modern machine designs. Recognizing the importance of knife sharpness and gap, and their relationship to final granulate quality, many machine manufactures have standardized on more maintenance-friendly designs for the knives. Pre-adjustable knife fixtures that allow the maintenance staff to set the critical gap outside the machine reduce the overall downtime of installing and gapping resharpened knives. Gone are the days of sticking feeler gauges into dark crevices while trying to adjust knives in the machine.

Moreover, because the fixed knives are coming into a machined stop in the cutting chamber, rotating knives can be gapped independently, allowing each rotating knife to have the exact same gap with respect to the fixed knives. This is impossible with static (non-adjustable) rotating knives. Another benefit of adjustable rotating knives is the ability to sharpen each knife independently rather than together as a set. This allows for the minimum amount of material to be ground off each knife during each resharpening, resulting in longer overall knife service life.PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

TRAP 4:  A GRANULATOR THAT IS OVER-FED

Many processors seemingly try to destroy their granulator not long after receiving it, in the name of “testing the limits” of what the capacity of the granulator really is. Your granulator was sized for a particular application and, hopefully, it is still used in that same application. But often when an existing granulator is wheeled across the shop floor to perform its duties for a different part or job, the materials are different, the throughput is different…in fact, everything is different from what the granulator was originally designed for.

Over-feeding your granulator will obviously back it up, reducing productivity. The decrease in air flow associated with a completely full cutting chamber leads to less-effective evacuation of the machine. And infeed material sits on top of the rotor, waiting to be ingested into the cutting chamber. That material, because it is riding on top of the knives and not being cut, is dulling your knives at a faster than normal rate. In some cases of over-feeding, the granulator approaches the maximum amp load capacity of the drive motor and simply jams or ceases working.

Just as it’s better to remove regrind automatically from your granulator with an appropriately sized evacuation system, it’s also better to automatically meter-feed your granulator—either with a robot or a conveyor. That way, there is no chance of over-feeding your unit.

There are several  electrical options to help with optimized feeding of the granulator. High-amp alarms can tell you when you are working the drive motor too hard and help the operator understand when to back off the feed when feeding manually. High-level alarms can help the operator understand and avoid evacuation problems, for example if the feed rate is exceeding the evacuation rate it may be as simple as waiting for the evacuation system to catch up. It also may save the system from plugging up entirely, resulting in potentially expensive damage to the granulator motor.PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

It’s important to understand how the granulator is sized for a throughput rate. There is a big difference between instantaneous rate and intermittent rate, the latter generally being how the granulator is sized.

Let’s say the granulator is sized for 2000 lb/hr: This generally means that the machine should be fed at a rate of approximately 33 lb/min (2000 ÷ 60). If you put 100 lb of material in the hopper in a matter of seconds, don’t expect the granulator to perform. This is a very common occurrence with hand-fed granulators.

It is also important to avoid under-feeding. If your granulator sits idle and the rotor spins without parts inside, the energy efficiency is greatly decreased. You can and should expect a certain throughput rate from your granulator, but if your scrap is sitting next to your machine in a gaylord or storage area, you are definitely not getting the most from your unit.

What inevitably happens is that an over-eager operator dumps the whole box into the granulator. The result: downtime. Regular, steady feeding of your granulator is best for you and for the machine.

Despite their status as second-class citizens, granulators can help processors be more efficient and profitable. A basic understanding of the traps in granulation and the areas where granulators need the most attention can help you plan for the purchase of a granulator or understand the importance of your maintenance schedule to ensure a long, productive life for your unit.

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Avoid Four Common Traps In Granulation

PLA-Biopolymer – rPET-packaging

Bio-ABS – Recycled-Polylefins 12-11-2022