Chemical-recycling -Plastic-film 19-11-2022

Chemical-recycling -Plastic-film

-LyondellBasell moves ahead on new chemical recycling plant in Germany

LyondellBasell is moving forward with engineering to build a chemical recycling plant at its site in Wesseling, Germany. The plant will use the MoReTec technology developed and proven by LyondellBasell with the construction of a chemical recycling pilot plant at its Ferrara, Italy, site, which begun operation in August 2020, and was further expanded to a small-scale industrial facility in 2021.

LyondellBasell announced in October that, together with Germany-based 23 Oaks Investments, it was establishing a new joint venture company called Source One Plastics. That company will build and operate an energy efficient, advanced plastic waste sorting and recycling facility in Germany, the output of which will provide a material part of the feedstock for the new Wesseling-based recycling plant. Using renewable energy from wind and biomass, Source One Plastics will have the capacity to process the plastic packaging waste generated by approximately 1.3 million German citizens per year – waste that today is largely incinerated.

LyondellBasell’s proprietary MoReTec technology, described by Yvonne van der Laan, LyondellBasell Executive Vice President, Circular and Low Carbon Solutions as a ‘high yield, differential technology’, will enable polyolefin-based plastic waste to be converted, in a proprietary reactor unit, into pyrolysis oil and pyrolysis gas. This output will be used in the crackers, serving as feedstock for, amongst others, the production of new plastic materials.

“Solid process residues can be re-used or consumed in other applications, making this technology an energy efficient, zero waste process for the recycling of plastic waste,” she said. Chemical-recycling -Plastic-film

The final investment decision is targeted for the end of 2023. Once green-lighted, the project will proceed, with the start-up of the German MoReTec recycling plant planned for the end of 2025, with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes per year.

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-Amcor triples recycled content targets

Packaging maker Amcor plc is tripling the company’s recycled content target.

The company, in conjunction with the release of a new sustainability report, revealed Nov. 17 the new goal is 30 percent — up from the previous 10 percent — by 2030.

“In ramping up our targets for recycled content, we’re helping radically scale the amount of recycled content coming into the market to create a circular economy for packaging,” said David Clark, vice president of sustainability at Melbourne-based Amcor, in a statement

“We do this by not only making sure that the packaging produced is designed to be recycled, but also by boosting infrastructure and consumer awareness to ensure content gets recycled and stays in the economy,” he said.

Amcor also reported more than doubling the amount of post-consumer material purchased in recent years. The company purchased 171,000 tons during fiscal year 2022, up from 61,000 tons in fiscal year 2019. Chemical-recycling -Plastic-film

Amcor purchased a total of 3.56 million tons of raw materials in fiscal year 2022. Of that total, 76 percent consisted of polymers, 13 percent fibers, 7 percent liquids and 6 percent metals, according to the sustainability report. The company’s sales mix, meanwhile, was 76 percent polymers, 14 percent metals and 10 percent fibers.

Along with using more recycled content, the company has pledged to make all products recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. A total of 74 percent of Amcor’s production by weight already is designed to be recycled, the company said.

Amcor’s network of operations include 220 locations in 43 countries. The firm, with $15 billion in annual sales, employs 44,000 around the world.

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-Vecoplan: Cleaning process for plastics recycling

At this year’s K trade fair, the company has introduced a further step in plastics processing.

Now, in a further contribution to closed-loop recycling, the system provider is offering additional processing options. “Plastics recycling at a suitable level of cleanliness is becoming increasingly important,” says Martina Schmidt, head of the Recycling and Waste Division at Vecoplan AG. “By offering this to our customers, we can give them even greater support. At the end of the process chain, they get a material that is ready for the extruder.”

At its new technology center in Neunkhausen, Vecoplan has installed a demonstration and test facility called the Cleanikum, which covers some 600 square meters. Together with Vecoplan’s experts, customers can run cleaning tests with film waste and thin-walled hard plastics made from polyolefins like LDPE, HDPE, and PP. The facility, which features a new combination of machines for cleaning plastic, processes it to yield high-quality extrudable flakes that can find use in the manufacture of consumer goods, packaging, and cosmetics. “Our approach is purposely different from conventional solutions,” says Martina Schmidt. “Our developers have optimised the processing method to provide better cleaning quality while reducing energy and water consumption.” Vecoplan’s engineers worked closely with a network of experts to achieve this practical solution. Chemical-recycling -Plastic-film

The Cleanikum demonstrates the systematic use of cleaning and separation technologies that help cut back on the use of energy and water. Post-consumer waste can be cleaned in a cold or hot process, with or without lye, depending on the degree of contamination and the quality requirements for the recyclate. The combined demonstration and testing facility is able to handle polyolefins in the form of plastic film or used bottles.

“We rely on mechanical dry pre-cleaning, which means there is no conventional pre-wash,” says Schmidt. “This lowers our use of fresh water, and we can significantly reduce the quantity of waste water. The facility thus demonstrates processes that are economical in the use of water, an important resource.”

The required degree of cleanliness can be customized according to the user’s requirements. In addition to wet or dry mechanical cleaning, the Cleanikum can demonstrate temperature-controlled intensive heating using a sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution, for example when the regranulate is needed for the consumer goods or cosmetics industry. This is an effective means of dissolving greasy and oily impurities and of removing adhesives from labels

Vecoplan prepares the cleaning lye in the Cleanikum separately from the process water. Instead of using the lye or process water until it is saturated with contaminants and then cleaning it, the waste water is fed via collection lines at every point in the facility to a specially designed water treatment system, where it is cleaned and returned to each component. “This reduces our use of fresh water and lye while also improving the cleaning quality,” says Schmidt. “It is our contribution to sustainable recycling.”

In post-shredding, a wet granulator shreds the cleaned plastic film to the particle size required for drying and extruding. A combined friction separator and dewatering screw then dries the material mechanically to a residual moisture of five to six percent. The use of mechanical instead of thermal drying demonstrates how it is possible to improve the environmental footprint of plastic recycling.  Chemical-recycling -Plastic-film

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-Germany’s Truetzschler to present textile solutions at India ITME 2022

German textile machinery manufacturer Truetzschler Group will attend the India International Textile Machinery Exhibitions (ITME) trade fair from December 8–13 at India Exposition Mart Limited in Greater Noida. The group’s 486-square-meter stand no. A3 (Hall 10), will showcase the latest machines and technologies from each of its business areas: spinning, card clothing, nonwovens, and man-made fibres.

A team of Truetzschler experts from Germany and India will be available to describe and discuss the company’s innovative solutions for the textile industry and will be supported by the sales team from its agency A.T.E Enterprises Limited, according to a press release by Truetzschler. Chemical-recycling -Plastic-film

The following exhibits from Truetzschler’s spinning business will be showcased at the event. The TC 19i card is the first intelligent card, and opens up new opportunities for productivity and quality with its self-optimisation function. Using data from the tried and tested T-CON 3, the T-GO gap optimiser permanently and automatically keeps the carding gap at the optimal position, even under changing production conditions. Wastecontrol helps to minimise the loss of good fibres, and Nepcontrol constantly monitors the nep count.

The integrated IDF 2 system is a versatile system that offers a cost-efficient and resource-efficient way of producing rotor-spun and Vortex yarns. The key benefits include improved economic efficiency through process cutting, higher flexibility with shorter throughput times, cost reduction through less operating work, and lower investment cost through reduced space requirements and saving of cans

The TC 12-1 S card sets the benchmark in one-meter cards. It boosts quality and productivity thanks to its highly precise flat setting system (PFS 40). Wastecontrol can reduce loss of good fibres by up to 2 per cent (for cotton). The state-of-the art Smart Touch and T-LED remote display provides easy operations. And the new coiling solution T-Move 2 with Jumbo Cans can increase can filling by up to 50 per cent. The synthetic version of the TC 12 card on booth with special execution with tailor-made technology components and stainless-steel parts offers the highest productivity with the lowest energy consumption.

The TCO 21 comber is an innovative combing machine that maximises productivity and automation, while also providing excellent process efficiency and yarn quality. With Dual Drive and 2-Twin-Drive, the TCO 21 is the only comber that offers direct drives on both sides. The unique self-optimisation of the Piecing Optimizer perfectly adjusts the piecing time and detaching curve. Smart Touch, RFID, and T-LED ensure easy operation.

The TD 10 spinning draw frame is an ultramodern auto-leveller draw frame that features the latest digital levelling technology. Due to its smart design, the TD 10 requires on an average 20 per cent less space than comparable competitors’ models. It is also equipped with a highly efficient suction system. The intelligent Smart Creel and T-LED remote display offer superior functional reliability. Special features like Auto Draft and Opti Set deliver significant performance improvements.

The pre-cleaner CL-X (exhibited as scale model) is a new high-performance pre-cleaner that offers higher productivity and lower energy consumption. Its improved grid geometry and 2.60-meter cleaning section achieve superior cleaning and separation at high production rates. The flexible machine is able to run two mixing lots at the same time, while different sizes of waste can also be separated. It features stepless speed adjustments for the opening rollers and individual adjustments of grid bars for each opening roller. An additional Wastecontrol sensor is also integrated into the CL-X, which avoids the unnecessary loss of valuable good fibres. Chemical-recycling -Plastic-film

Visitors will get the chance to see and touch various stages of recycled material processed by Truetzschler’s machines—from fibres to sliver and yarns. They can then get information on Truetzschler’s specially designed recycling card or sustainability/recycling table.

Truetzschler will present a new type of clothing for different processing needs and special applications. The company’s new Supertip series of cylinder clothing offers improved fibre guidance and allows optimal fibre transfer, which significantly improves nep removal efficiency. Its special metallurgy also helps to achieve much ‘longer working life’. The Novotop series of flat tops makes a significant positive influence on the carding process. At the stand, visitors will be able to see models and samples of the manufacturer’s unique range of wires. Truetzschler’s card clothing experts will be available to answer any questions.

The new T-Suprema solution for needle-punched nonwovens will be part of the exhibit at India ITME. Mechanically needled nonwovens are highly functional textiles used in construction, transportation, and industrial production. T-Suprema production lines make the needle-punching process easier than ever. Truetzschler Nonwovens partners with Texnology, an expert in needle looms and other needle-punching machinery. Truetzschler’s offer includes efficient machinery for manufacturing top-quality geotextiles, filtration media, automotive textiles, and nonwovens for special applications.

The Optima platform is a key part of Truetzschler’s presence at India ITME. The Optima for Bulk Continuous Filament (BCF) concentrates on the needs of carpet yarn producers. With the four-end MO40-C, MO40-E, and TO40 extrusion systems, customers benefit from outstanding productivity, top-quality yarns, and low production costs. The new variant Optima for Industrial Yarn (IDY) transfers these advantages to the production of industrial and technical yarn. The TEC-O40 and TEC-O80 systems allow for the efficient manufacturing of high-tenacity, low-shrinkage, low-denier, and semi-industrial filament yarns. Applications cover tyre reinforcements, airbags, belts, geotextiles, ropes, and nets, as well as tents and travel luggage. Chemical-recycling -Plastic-film

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Germany's Truetzschler to present textile solutions at India ITME 2022

-New report signals innovation boom in bio- and recycling alternatives 

For the second year in succession, intellectual property firm Appleyard Lees has published its Inside Green Innovation: Progress Report 2022. The report analyses patent filings across several key environmental issues, including biopolymers and polymer recycling.

In the area of biodegradable plastics, a clear front-runner has emerged with the sharp spike in global patent applications for butylene-based biopolymers, according to the report. Chemical-recycling -Plastic-film

And in polymer recycling, after almost two decades of decline, technology innovation has re-emerged to reach a worldwide peak of 423 priority patent filings in 2020 – an almost 130% increase on 2018 (186) and the most prolific patent filing year since 2000 (294).

The marked increase seen in companies filing patents for chemical recycling of polymers indicates a ‘huge turnaround in this area of green innovation’, the authors write.

In the current report, the authors look at patent filing trends for the main types of bioplastics produced today: butylene-based polymers, polylactic acid, polyhydroxyalkanoates and starch-based bioplastics. Patent filings in all four types of bioplastics were shown to have risen in recent years, albeit to varying extents. For example, filing numbers for butylene-based polymers were relatively steady until about five years ago, but have experienced a notable upward trend year on year since then. Indeed, butylene-based technology stands out as the leading area of current innovation.

Since 2018, activity among the top five organisations filing patents for butylene-based polymers more than doubled (from 26 to 56 in 2020), with the 2020 number an increase of more than 200% on 2016.

“Patent filings in all types of biopolymers have risen in recent years, though increased activity in butylene-based polymers is notable over the past five years and could offer a valid route for manufacturers, “ noted patent attorney Sarah Gibbs, Senior Associate at Appleyard Lees

Butylene-based polymers (such as polybutylene adipate terephthalate – PBAT) are biodegradable and anticipated to become more important to a bioplastics transition because of their parallel properties to conventional plastics, coupled with their greater capacity for scaling up production.

This includes – in the case of polybutylene succinate (PBS), clarity, processability and flexibility. Innovations and, consequently, patent applications involving butylene-based polymers include improvements to biodegradable packaging and single-use items. Israel’s Tipa Corporation is focusing on such applications by blending PBAT or PBS with other bioplastics such as PLA to combine flexibility and strength. Meanwhile, Japan’s Mitsubishi Group is patenting innovation in tensile strength of PBS by combining it with an acrylic rubber.

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New report signals innovation boom in bio- and recycling alternatives

-WM and Dow partner on plastic film recycling initiative in US

When fully operational, the initiative is expected to divert more than 120,000t of plastic films from landfill a year.

North American waste management company WM has partnered with chemical firm Dow on a plastic film recycling initiative in the US.

The partnership will allow consumers in certain markets to recycle hard-to-recycle plastic films directly at their kerbsides. Chemical-recycling -Plastic-film

WM and Dow will work together to develop infrastructure to bridge existing recycling gaps and create a more circular value chain for plastic materials in the US.

The companies initially piloted the programme in Hickory Hills, Illinois, and plan to expand it to other cities across the country.

Consumers in these cities will be able to recycle film plastics such as cling wrap, bread bags and dry-cleaning bags directly in their kerbside recycling.

At full scale, the initiative is expected to help prevent more than 120,000tpa of plastic films from entering landfill.

WM president and CEO Jim Fish said: “By providing residential customers with a simple, kerbside option for recycling plastic films, we will not only help our customers more easily manage their used plastic film products, but also meet the rising demand for recycled content products.

“We see tremendous, untapped potential to recycle and reuse plastic film, which many of our residential customers struggle to properly dispose.”

Dow chairman and CEO Jim Fitterling said: “Enabling a circular economy requires broad stakeholder collaboration, innovation and investment throughout the value chain to continue to more rapidly develop and advance solutions at scale.

“Through our collaboration with WM, we’re determined to launch new programmes that grow recycling infrastructure and access nationwide, creating a more comprehensive system where films and flexible plastics form a key pillar of our circular product offerings.”

The partnership builds on WM and Dow’s wider efforts to increase recycling across the US.

WM plans to invest more than $800m by 2025 to optimise recycling infrastructure, while Dow aims to incorporate recycled content into its product solutions.

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WM and Dow partner on plastic film recycling initiative in US

-Bioplastics as an Alternative to Single-Use Plastic Waste

The average American uses 365 pieces of single-use plastic each year. Researchers are examining the possibility of plastics engineered from plant-based materials to minimize the mass amounts of non-biodegradable plastics hitting our landfills.

The average American uses 365 articles of single-use plastic each year according to research done by National Geographic.

These items, products like plastic utensils, cups, and bags, are typically used once before they are sent to landfills to take up space. Chemical-recycling -Plastic-film

In the United States alone, about 100 billion plastic bags are used each year, with estimations made that the world uses about 4 trillion annually, Waste Management reports. In many ways, the use of these non-biodegradable materials, such as single-use plastic bags, has become too incorporated into modern life to simply stop using.

Though eight states in the U.S. have officially banned single-use plastic bags, and bans across the country on other plastic products such as straws, plates, cups and bottles have proven successful in reducing plastic waste, others have a different perspective on how to eliminate the massive amounts of plastic waste single-use plastic products creates.

“It takes 1,000 years for a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill. Unfortunately, the bags don’t break down completely but instead photo-degrade, becoming microplastics that absorb toxins and continue to pollute the environment,” a report from the Center for Biological Diversity states.

Deciding to tackle this issue from another angle, some scientists are investigating the possibility of creating a material that can be substituted for plastic in one-use products.

The goal of this approach is the create a material capable of decomposing so that it can be composted or broken up naturally into landfills without causing harm to its surroundings.

With multiple approaches to this, a variety of scientists and other researchers have begun exploring the possibility of producing a plastic replacement made up of plant-based materials.

In recent years several notable studies have discovered materials like this with potential.

In June 2021, Nature Communications published research completed by researchers from the Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge titled “Controlled self-assembly of plant proteins into high-performance multifunctional nanostructured films.”

The report details the researcher’s approach to creating plant-based films similar enough to those produced with our current petroleum-based systems.

Though successfully producing a material similar to plastic, the report describes the researcher’s continuous encounters with one hurdle; scaleability.

“Here, we demonstrate a scalable approach for generating mechanically robust plant-based films on a meter-scale through controlled nanometre-scale self-assembly of water-insoluble plant proteins. Chemical-recycling -Plastic-film

Ultimately discovering their production methods can be replicated with the use of ultrasonication, the possibility of upscaling their work to production levels capable of replacing the millions of single-use plastics becomes more possible.

“Also, ultrasonication is widely used in food processing and thus practically available at industrial scale,” the report denotes.

This method is not the only to come up with a possible solution, however.

In 2022 two professors in the Department of Forest Biomaterials at North Carolina State University named Lokendra Pal and Lucian Lucia identified a way to convert leftover sawdust powder and agro-residues into a material similar to styrofoam.

This plastic replacement has the potential to replace styrofoam and other plastics often used in the food industry.

The two professors are currently conducting pilot trials to test the material’s potential for commercialization.

This plastic substitute demonstrates one thing that others do not; a lower amount of raw materials needed to produce it.

“These alternatives, however, require a lot of water, energy, and chemicals to produce and therefore cost nearly 10 times as much as the material developed by Pal and Lucia,” Andrew Moore of North Carolina State University writes.

Each of the two prior mentioned methods have their own pros and cons, one single solution to the overproduction and consumption of single-use plastic has not been agreed upon.

An even more recent study by researchers at the University of British Columbia has gained some traction and media attention as a promising option.

The wood-based material is capable of replicating transparent plastic, garnering excitement from the public as a material truly similar to the plastic bottles and cups we are accustomed to. With a legion of other strengths, the material’s success is a demonstration of the possibility to meet all of the criteria exhibited by the plastics we currently use.

“The prepared cellulose film shows high transmittance, good thermal stability (Tmax of 350 °C), high mechanical strength (99.7 MPa tensile strength and 5.7 GPa Young’s modulus), good underwater structural stability (17.1 MPa tensile strength after being immersed in water for 30 days), as well as excellent biodegradability (completely degrades in 19 days when buried in soil).” Chemical-recycling -Plastic-film

The material is evidence of the true potential these plant-based alternatives have to eliminate the unnecessary waste of plastic cups, straws, bottles, plates, and bags.

Over and over again we are seeing researchers and scientists discovering materials capable of withstanding the same conditions of the plastics currently on the market.

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Bioplastics as an Alternative to Single-Use Plastic Waste

Chemical-recycling -Plastic-film

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