Fiber-to-fiber – Synthetic Turf 09-06-2023 - Arhive
Fiber-to-fiber – Synthetic Turf
Crude Oil Prices Trend
-Polyester Recycling: Achieving Circularity in Textiles Without Compromising Quality
From start to finish, achieving circularity in the textile industry is not only feasible but also allows for the production of high-quality and technically advanced products.
This groundbreaking research and development project is a step-by-step demonstration of the viability of recycling polyester fibers “from fiber to fiber.” It all began with Sportstex, a company specializing in sportswear production, joining forces with RadiciGroup, an experienced leader in the circular economy, to collaborate on the recovery of polyester textile waste, including sports uniforms for football, volleyball, and other sports.
Pure Loop, a company specializing in recycling machinery, was quick to join the project, aiming to identify the best available technology for producing new textile fibers.
To achieve their objective, the R&D teams of these three companies conducted a series of tests to develop a recycled textile product with outstanding technical properties. They initially experimented with a mixed recovery technique, combining variable percentages of granules from recycled bottles (a well-established practice at RadiciGroup) with polyester granules from recycled fabrics. Fiber-to-fiber – Synthetic Turf
Through continuous refinement of the processes, they eventually succeeded in creating a yarn that is 100% derived from the recovery of textile waste.
Once the system is scaled up, this virtuous circularity approach will allow for the production of easily recyclable polyester garments that can be recovered and reused at the end of their life cycle. Shimano, a pioneering company in sustainability, has already embraced this project and proudly presents the first jersey resulting from this collaboration. A cycling jersey manufactured through this innovative process will be showcased for the first time at ITMA, the prominent international trade fair for textile and clothing technology, scheduled in Milan from June 8th to 14th, 2023. You can find it at the booth of one of the project’s partner companies (Booth Pure Loop H9/D304).
This research project has revealed a new recycling pathway, enabling the production of high-quality polyester fibers from various sources, including pre-owned clothing, leading to a truly closed-loop system in the textile industry. Fiber-to-fiber – Synthetic Turf
-Unannounced Inspections Conducted by European Commission in Synthetic Turf Industry
The European Commission has initiated surprise inspections at the premises of companies operating in the synthetic turf sector across various Member States. These inspections are being carried out due to concerns that the companies under scrutiny may have violated European Union (EU) antitrust regulations, specifically Article 101 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which prohibits cartels and restrictive business practices.
Synthetic turf, which replicates the appearance and functionality of natural grass, is primarily used for sports purposes. The investigation focuses specifically on synthetic turf intended for sporting applications.
During these unannounced inspections, Commission officials are accompanied by their counterparts from the national competition authorities of the Member States where the inspections are taking place. It is important to note that these inspections serve as a preliminary step in investigating suspected anticompetitive behavior. The fact that the Commission is conducting such inspections and requesting formal information does not imply guilt on the part of the companies involved, nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation.Fiber-to-fiber – Synthetic Turf
The Commission upholds the rights of defense, particularly granting companies the opportunity to present their case in antitrust proceedings.
The duration of inquiries into anticompetitive conduct is not constrained by a legal deadline. Various factors, such as the complexity of each case, the level of cooperation from the companies involved, and the exercise of defense rights, contribute to the length of the investigation.
Under the Commission’s leniency program, companies that have participated in secret cartels may receive immunity from fines or substantial reductions in fines by reporting their conduct and cooperating fully throughout the Commission’s investigation. Both individuals and companies have the option to report cartel activities or other forms of anticompetitive behavior anonymously through the Commission’s whistle-blower tool. Additional information about the Commission’s leniency program and the whistle-blower tool can be found on the website of DG Competition.
-Herbold Meckesheim tanks offer plastic density separation
Recycling technology provider offers its plastic scrap density separator tanks in three sizes.
Herbold Meckesheim USA now is offering density separation tanks, also known as sink-swim tanks, that use water to separate plastic scrap of different densities as well as separate contaminants from homogenous plastics, says the firm, which is a subsidiary of Germany-based Herbold Meckesheim GmbH. Fiber-to-fiber – Synthetic Turf
Items are introduced to the steel sink-swim tanks by a feeding screw or conveyor at one end, says the company. Three or four transport drums (rotating paddles) then move the material from one end of the tank to the other.
During the process, higher density plastics like polyethylene terephthalate and polyvinyl chloride, and contaminants sink to the bottom of the tank while lower density plastics like polyethylene and polypropylene float on the surface of the water.
According to Herbold Meckesheim, lighter plastics exit the tank via a top discharge setup and heavier items are continuously removed by a scraping chain conveyor mounted below the bottom of the tank. The tank’s V-shaped bottom has been designed to help ensure that sinking scrap or waste can be exited from the bottom with no accumulation or buildup.
Tanks are available in three sizes, with the smallest measuring 78 inches by 31 inches and the largest measuring 157 inches by 71 inches. Drive motors are available in a range from 1.5 horsepower (hp) up to 15 hp. “Throughputs vary depending on material and tank size,” the company says. Fiber-to-fiber – Synthetic Turf
Herbold Meckesheim USA is a North Smithfield, Rhode Island-based designer, manufacturer and installer of size-reduction equipment and wash line systems for the plastics industry, specializing in the recycling of industrial and postconsumer plastics.
-LatAm to continue absorbing considerable PE, PP global capacities coming online
Latin America is set to continue being a net importer of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) as more global capacities come on stream, an ICIS expert said on Tuesday.
Thais Matsuda, chemicals analyst for Latin America at ICIS, said the region is expected to continue receiving large amounts of the two polymers coming from northeast Asia, the Middle East and the US. Fiber-to-fiber – Synthetic Turf
While exports from the Middle East to Latin America are expected to increase in coming years as the region also becomes a key PE and PP producer after sharply increasing its capacities, the US is set to continue being king when it comes to sending product to the region, said Matsuda.
She was speaking at an event organised by the Latin American Petrochemical and Chemical Association (APLA).
Awash with polymers
The US is expected to export up to 45% of its PE and PP production that has come online in the past decade, spurred by the shale gas boom.
Matsuda said the US would need to export that 45% of its capacities to keep its operating rates at healthy levels; however, she added this would not include potential rationalisation, i.e. some old plants being shut down in coming years.
The US also plays with the advantage that most of its polymers production is concentrated in the Gulf Coast, a location which makes it very easy sending product to southern neighbours in Latin America.
In fact, Latin America received 70% of its PE and PP imports from North America in 2022, mainly the US. Fiber-to-fiber – Synthetic Turf
Meanwhile, northeast Asia producers – China, Korea and Japan, among others – sent in 2022 35% of their PE and PP exports to Latin America.
Therefore, Latin America is set to continue as a major outlet for PE and PP producers globally.
Only in 2023-2024, the global capacities for the two polymers are expected to increase by 26m tonnes, and more are set to come online in 2025 and 2026.
However, Matsuda said PE and PP global supply is expected to outpace demand by a large amount, which will represent a “challenging” scenario for the petrochemicals industry.
In that scenario, prices could come down as producers compete fiercely for market share, she said.
“In summary, a major rebound in crude oil prices has not taken place despite OPEC+ production cuts as economic conditions globally soften,” said Matsuda.
“The cost advantage for North America’s olefins and derivative plants is set to continue, while excessive new capacity is set to come online, mainly in Asia.
An oversupplied market is set to result in a challenging scenario for the petrochemical industry.” Fiber-to-fiber – Synthetic Turf
-Solvay has announced a collaboration with Sapio for the development of the Hydrogen Valley Rosignano Project in Rosignano, Italy
This joint venture aims to establish a large-scale hydrogen production plant that will utilize locally-sourced green energy.
By leveraging the expertise of Solvay and Sapio, leaders in the hydrogen economy, this initiative will contribute significantly to the decarbonization of Solvay’s operations in Rosignano. The implementation of the project is projected to reduce CO2 emissions related to Peroxides operations by 15%.
The green hydrogen production facility will be constructed within Solvay’s Rosignano site, transforming a former industrial area. It is scheduled to be completed by mid-2026 and will rely on a dedicated 9.5 MW photovoltaic installation to generate green electricity. The plant will have an annual capacity of 756 tons of green hydrogen, which will be exclusively utilized for the on-site production of peroxides.
The Hydrogen Valley Rosignano Project exemplifies Solvay’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality. The company’s strategy emphasizes the maximization of electrification, the transition to renewable energies like solar power, and the promotion of process innovations. To support the construction of the hydrogen production plant in Rosignano, Solvay has secured EUR16 million in funding under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) from the Tuscan Region. Fiber-to-fiber – Synthetic Turf
-China’s export sector experienced a significant decline in May, exceeding expectations, due to a global demand slowdown
Additionally, imports also saw a decrease, although at a slower rate, as manufacturers faced challenges in finding overseas demand while domestic consumption remained lackluster.
During May, Chinese exports, originating from the world’s second-largest economy, contracted by 7.5% compared to the previous year. This decline represents the most significant contraction since January and is in stark contrast to April’s 8.5% growth. On the other hand, imports experienced a contraction of 4.5%, which is a slower decline compared to the previous month’s 7.9% decrease.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had predicted a 0.4% decline in exports and an 8.0% drop in imports, making the actual figures much worse than expected.
The decline in exports highlights the weakened demand for Chinese products globally, as well as reduced imports of parts and materials that China utilizes in assembling finished goods for export. Fiber-to-fiber – Synthetic Turf
This trend is consistent with the data from South Korea, which revealed a 20.8% decrease in shipments to China in May, marking a year of monthly declines. Notably, Korean semiconductor exports contracted by 36.2%, indicating a weak demand for components used in final production.
Following the release of the trade data, Chinese stock markets saw a reduction in their gains, and the Australian dollar, a currency closely tied to Chinese demand, lost value.
-Innovation in Batch-Type Waste Tire Pyrolysis Technology
The Weibold Academy article series regularly explores practical developments and scientific research findings in the end-of-life tire (ELT) recycling and pyrolysis industry. In this second part of the series, we delve into the characteristics and advantages of batch reactors in relation to thermochemical reactions and their impact on the final products. Our insights are drawn from extensive scientific literature and the successful practices of industry-leading companies.
Thermochemical conversion technologies, specifically pyrolysis, have gained significant importance in recent years for the sustainable and environmentally sound treatment of waste tires. Some of these technologies have already proven their technical and economic maturity. Fiber-to-fiber – Synthetic Turf
Pyrolysis is a thermochemical process used to treat vulcanized rubber and recover valuable products. It involves the decomposition of rubber at high temperatures (400 – 900°C) in the absence of oxygen. The main products of pyrolysis are a solid fraction, typically raw recovered carbon black (according to ASTM D8178); a liquid fraction comprising light oil, heavy oil, and tar; and a permanent gas fraction [Ramirez-Canon et al., 2018].
The thermochemical decomposition process, known as pyrolysis, occurs within a reactor or reaction zone. Reactors can be classified as either batch or continuous, depending on their filling and processing modes, which significantly influence the reactor design.
Batch-type processes involve a complete loading process, followed by processing and subsequent unloading. When plotted on a time axis, different states exist at different times as the material concentration within the reactor changes. In contrast, continuous processes involve a continuous flow of material and processing.
In our previous article, we concluded that batch-based semi-continuous tire pyrolysis systems can benefit from the advantages of both worlds, and more, if:
- Material loading and unloading are automated.
- The completion of decomposition can be continuously detected by measuring the pyrolysis gas flow, allowing for continuous adjustment of the process duration.
- Batch reactors are constantly maintained at the reaction temperature without any downtime.
- The timing of individual processes is optimized with short intervals, resulting in a continuous flow of products. Fiber-to-fiber – Synthetic Turf
In summary, modern batch reactors offer significant advantages, particularly in terms of precise process control despite variations in the feedstock’s chemical composition, which can vary depending on the tire manufacturer. Moreover, the composition and yields of the end products, such as raw recovered carbon black, oil, and gas, also depend on the pyrolysis conditions.
Influence of the Reactor Model on Product Yields
The type of reactor plays a crucial role in determining the yields of oil, permanent gas, and the composition and quality of recovered carbon black. The product yields primarily depend on the thermal decomposition temperature (T), heating rate (HR), and residence time (RT) of oil vapors and solid products within the reactor [Lewandowski et al., 2019].
While the yield of raw recovered carbon black is the same in both batch-type (“fixed bed”) and continuously charged (“moving bed”) reactors, assuming complete devolatilization of the feedstock in both cases, the yields of oil and permanent gas differ. A batch reactor generally yields more oil, whereas a moving bed reactor, such as a rotary kiln or auger, yields a higher amount of permanent gas (incondensable).
This can be attributed to the faster heating rate and longer residence time of oil vapors in a continuously charged moving bed reactor, which leads to more severe cracking reactions [Aylon et al., 2008]. Fiber-to-fiber – Synthetic Turf
The higher oil yield in a batch reactor provides practical economic benefits as it enables increased product sales. Additionally, modern batch reactor designs still yield sufficient amounts of permanent gas to generate the necessary process heat, and the waste heat from the flue gas can be utilized in subsequent process steps.
Influence of Decomposition Temperature and Vapor Residence Time
In addition to natural rubber (NR), the most common synthetic rubbers used in tire manufacturing are cis-polybutadiene rubber (CBR), isobutylene-isoprene copolymer rubber (e.g., butyl rubber or BR), and styrene-butadiene copolymer rubber (SBR) [Kan et al., 2017]. The pyrolysis process mainly targets the decomposition of these rubber compounds, and the processes occur simultaneously and overlap with each other [Gonzales et al., 2001].
Studies suggest that SBR decomposes primarily at higher temperatures, NR decomposes at lower temperatures, while BR can be decomposed at both higher and lower temperatures [Ramirez-Canon et al., 2018]. Fiber-to-fiber – Synthetic Turf
The heating rate (HR) is influenced by the power supplied, particle size, and thermal conductivity of the feedstock, whereas temperature (T) affects the primary thermal decomposition reactions of organic materials. Prolonged residence time in the reactor increases the likelihood of secondary reactions, such as the conversion of oil and char into gas. This occurs as molecules in the liquid and solid phases decompose into smaller molecules, enriching the permanent gas fraction [Lewandowski et al., 2019].
Laboratory tests have shown that the liquid yield initially increases to a maximum at 475°C and then decreases to a minimum at 575°C. The gas yield, however, increases across the entire temperature range. An optimum temperature of 475°C appears to yield the highest amount of liquid products (oil) from tire feedstock through pyrolysis, as decomposition is complete and liquid yields are maximized at this temperature [Rofiqul Islam et al., 2010].
Higher temperatures generally favor oil production, with the highest yield obtained at 550°C. Further increases in temperature result in higher gas production and reduced liquid fraction compared to that obtained at 550°C [Ramirez-Canon et al., 2018].
Conversely, lower temperatures around 450°C yield a higher amount of raw recovered carbon black (solid fraction). However, the solid fraction slightly decreases with further temperature increases until 550°C. At higher temperatures, the solid yield increases again [Ramirez-Canon et al., 2018]. Various studies have shown that the optimal decomposition temperature for producing raw recovered carbon black (solid fraction) falls within the range of 450°C to 550°C.
Lower temperatures, combined with low pressure and short vapor residence time, favor the production of high-value primary chemicals such as limonene, benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX), thereby increasing their yield in the oil (TDO). Limonene and BTX find applications in various industries. Fiber-to-fiber – Synthetic Turf
High temperatures (above 550°C) and/or long residence times, on the other hand, lead to secondary cracking reactions of volatiles, resulting in the undesired development of aromatic and polycyclic aromatic compounds [cited in Nkosi et al., 2021].
Compared to continuously charged rotary kiln and auger reactors, which are associated with high heating rates and longer vapor residence times, modern batch reactors with slower heating rates tend to prevent secondary reactions. This prevention is due to limited gas accumulation around the char’s external area, resulting in higher value recovered carbon black [Lopez et al., 2010; Nkosi et al., 2021].
The complex and intertwined processes involved in end-of-life tire pyrolysis, combined with the inherent variability in feedstock chemical composition, highlight the significance of precise process control. This control is particularly important in ensuring complete devolatilization of all volatile components from the solid fraction, resulting in a “dry” rather than “roasted” recovered carbon black (rCB). Achieving this eliminates the need for an energy-intensive “second” pass. Fiber-to-fiber – Synthetic Turf
Therefore, it is clear that continuous process progress control, rather than continuous material feed, plays a vital role in achieving high product quality and the necessary flexibility to accommodate constantly changing feedstock qualities. Considering the ease of implementation and other mentioned arguments, a modern, batch-based, and semi-continuous process design appears to be a compelling choice.