Graphene plastic recycling -Is graphene the silver bullet for plastic recycling woes? 04-10-2023

Graphene plastic recycling

Introducing Radilon® Chill-fit: RadiciGroup’s Innovative Textile Yarn for Enhanced Comfort and Freshness

RadiciGroup, a renowned leader in the textile industry, has unveiled its latest innovation, Radilon® Chill-fit, a groundbreaking nylon yarn designed to maximize the breathability and freshness of fabrics. This remarkable achievement is the result of extensive research and development efforts, culminating in a highly functional nylon yarn that offers optimal thermal regulation without the need for additional treatments.

Radilon® Chill-fit provides users with an enduring sensation of comfort and freshness, ensuring long-lasting wearability while also offering excellent protection against harmful UV rays.  Graphene plastic recycling

This innovative yarn represents a significant leap forward in the world of textiles, setting new standards for comfort, performance, and sustainability.

For the first time, textile enthusiasts and industry professionals will have the opportunity to experience Radilon® Chill-fit firsthand during the autumn edition of Performance Days, a premier trade fair dedicated to showcasing the latest trends and innovations in yarns, fabrics, and accessories. This event is scheduled to take place on October 4th and 5th in Munich, Germany. At the RadiciGroup booth (Stand L17), experts from the Business Area Advanced Textile Solutions will present the full range of the Group’s functional and high-performance yarns, along with their sustainable product offerings aimed at fostering innovation and circularity within the textile industry.  Graphene plastic recycling

Marco De Silvestri, Head of Sales & Marketing for the Business Area Advanced Textile Solutions, emphasized the company’s commitment to optimizing the technical performance of their yarns, as exemplified by the introduction of Radilon® Chill-fit. He also stressed their dedication to enhancing the environmental performance across various sectors, including sportswear, athleisure, workwear, and more, through their special products that are traceable and have a reduced environmental footprint.

Introducing Radilon® Chill-fit: RadiciGroup's Innovative Textile Yarn for Enhanced Comfort and Freshness

Credits : RadiciGroup

De Silvestri further elaborated on their sustainable offerings, mentioning the Renycle®, Repetable®, and Biofeel® product lines, each representing a unique approach to environmental responsibility. Renycle® offers recycled nylon, Repetable® focuses on recycled polyester, and Biofeel® features fibers produced from renewable materials. These solutions significantly reduce CO2 emissions, contributing to a more responsible and sustainable textile supply chain.  Graphene plastic recycling

In discussing the textile industry’s ongoing evolution, De Silvestri emphasized the importance of collaboration and collective responsibility. He highlighted RadiciGroup’s substantial investments in cutting-edge technologies aimed at streamlining processes and enhancing both technical and environmental aspects of their products. These investments begin at the material chemistry level and extend through the production chain, demonstrating the company’s commitment to sustainability from start to finish.

Radilon® Chill-fit is a testament to RadiciGroup’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of textile innovation while prioritizing comfort, performance, and sustainability. Its launch at Performance Days is a significant milestone, showcasing the company’s commitment to providing the industry with groundbreaking solutions that benefit both consumers and the planet. As RadiciGroup continues to lead the way in textile advancements, they remain steadfast in their mission to create a more environmentally responsible and sustainable future for the entire textile sector.  Graphene plastic recycling

Introducing Radilon® Chill-fit: RadiciGroup's Innovative Textile Yarn for Enhanced Comfort and Freshness

Credits : Radicigroup

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Baystar transforms polyethylene production with North America’s first Borstar technology unit

New 625,000 metric ton-per-year PE production unit more than doubles production capacity in Pasadena, TX

Baystar (Bayport Polymers LLC) launches a new era in high-performance polyethylene (PE) production and enhanced sustainability with the start-up of its new Bay 3 polyethylene unit. The new unit is the first of its kind in North America, bringing proprietary Borstar technology from Borealis and more than doubling Baystar’s production capacity in Pasadena, TX.

The Borstar technology brings a transformative approach to production flexibility for manufacturers and converters seeking a broad range of highly customized products for lighter, more durable, more flexible and more efficient plastics. Borstar products are PFAS-free and can enable more than 50% postconsumer recycled material in some end products.  Graphene plastic recycling

Thanks to a broad molecular weight distribution, Borstar PE offers superior physical properties with no need for process aids or additives.

“Bringing our new unit online marks the beginning of an exciting evolution in PE production for the industry as Baystar reimagines what is possible,” says president Diane Chamberlain. “Borstar technology enables our technical, production and sales teams to collaborate in the creation of the highly customized products our customers require to remain competitive and meet consumer demands. This project is the culmination of an enormous investment which began in 2019, and it stands as a testament to the incredible determination, innovation and relentless focus on safety demonstrated by our team and our partners.”

Baystar became a fully integrated polyethene manufacturer in 2022 with the start-up of its new 1 million ton-per-year ethane cracker unit in Port Arthur, Texas, which supplies ethylene feedstock to Baystar’s three PE production units. With a total investment exceeding $1.4 billion, construction of the Bay 3 unit employed over 1,900 on-site workers and will provide full-time employment for an additional 50 skilled workers in the Pasadena region.  Graphene plastic recycling

“We have a product offering second to none, backed by a talented team of experts who came to Baystar to be part of something special,” says commercial director Brad Leesman. “We’re big enough to introduce leading technologies, but small enough to be nimble and highly responsive on behalf of our customers. We look forward to surprising the industry with our new approach.”


Graphene plastic recycling

Is graphene the silver bullet for plastic recycling woes?

If it feels like you’ve been hearing about recycling plastic all of your life, you might be right.
The first plastic recycling mill was built in 1972[1], about the same time as the Environmental Protection Agency was formed. But despite promoting plastic recycling — including spending tens of millions of dollars in advertising, marketing and public relations campaigns[2], as well as lobbying for curbside recycling — the technology to economically recycle plastic didn’t exist.  Graphene plastic recycling
The resin identification codes with which we’re all now familiar were introduced in 1988, and the global waste trade – developed countries shipping their plastic waste to less developed ones for recycling – took off in earnest in the early ’90s[3].
But certain facts have refused to go away, much like plastic waste itself. Plastic recycling has never been a popular practice. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has reported that global plastic use and waste will almost triple by 2060[4]. Meanwhile, plastic waste recycling has fallen from a high of only 9.5% in 2014 to between 5% and 6% in 2021[5]. And the amount of plastic that has been recycled more than once is under 1%[6].
There are a host of reasons to explain this problem.
One is that plastic is expensive to collect and sort. There are seven different identification codes: polyethylene terephthalate (e.g. water and soda bottles), high-density polyethylene (e.g. milk and shampoo bottles), polyvinyl chloride (e.g. cling film wrap), low-density polyethylene (e.g. grocery bags), polypropylene (e.g. microwavable dishes), polystyrene (e.g. plastic cutlery), expanded polystyrene (e.g. takeout food containers) and “other” plastics (e.g. water cooler bottles).    Graphene plastic recycling
These all have different melting temperatures and densities so, if they are melted together, they separate and set into layers. The resulting blend is structurally weak and difficult to shape. They could be melted a second time to separate them, but the cost is prohibitive.
Even when correctly sorted, most plastic can only be recycled between one and three times because heating shortens polymer chains, degrading its strength and quality, hence the term “downcycling” used to describe the process.
When it comes to food-grade plastics, strict packaging requirements also prevent, for example, a water bottle being turned into another water bottle.
And there is the question of colour. Each kind of plastic has a unique mix of dyes and additives that give it specific colours, shapes, toughness and other qualities. To recycle a light-green plastic soda bottle, it needs to be melted down with other soda bottles which are that exact shade of green. Even if the desired colour is black, different shades of black still make sorting mandatory.

What all this means is that the vast majority of plastic, including those that people wash, strip labels from and put into their blue bins, winds up in landfills, is burned (releasing toxic chemicals and pollutants, including microplastics) or dumped in the ocean.
A partial solution can be found in the use of a relatively newly discovered nanomaterial called graphene. Only an atom thick, adding graphene to plastic has a twofold result. First, it improves the plastic’s strength so that it lasts longer and therefore stays out of the trash heap longer. Second, it also improves plastic’s ability to be repeatedly recycled.
When it is correctly added to plastic parts, graphene can improve impact resistance, increase stiffness and allow for thinner cross-sections, reducing material usage. In most cases, only a small amount of graphene, around 0.1% by weight, is needed, making it cost-effective to include.  Graphene plastic recycling
When it comes to recycling plastics, their mechanical properties tend to decrease with each processing cycle. By incorporating graphene, the recycled plastic can regain its strength comparable to new materials.
Additionally, graphene will turn the mixed material’s colour solid black, regardless of its original colour or opacity. This can make the material more desirable as it avoids inconsistencies and off-colour appearances often found in recycled plastics. Graphene could also eliminate the need to sort even black plastics because of the resulting uniformity of colour.
However, not all types of graphene are the same, so it’s important to find the right combination to achieve the desired results.

HydroGraph is playing a significant role in making high-quality graphene available in large quantities with its Hyperion detonation system. This method involves filling a chamber with hydrocarbon and oxygen, igniting the mixture with a small spark, and graphene is formed in the resulting detonation.
The graphene produced using this technology is 99.8% pure, unmatched in quality and quantity. It is currently undergoing testing in various polymer applications worldwide. This system:

  • Can produce graphene of various modifications and morphologies.
  • Is highly energy efficient.
  • Doesn’t require solvents or mined minerals.
  • Can be easily scaled up.  Graphene plastic recycling

The HydroGraph Hyperion system is compact and modular, allowing for easy deployment and enabling integration into production lines at customer sites around the world. It operates as a closed system, minimizing energy consumption and emissions. Each machine has a small footprint of just 2 meters by 2 meters but can produce over 10 metric tons of fractal graphene per year, which can be further customised with additional chemical functionalisation.


Graphene plastic recycling

McKinsey: rPET availability in the US market needs boost

According to a study by McKinsey, high long-term demand for recycled content in packaging could lead to shortages of recycled packaging materials in the US. Brand owners that are aiming to introduce new packaging formats and establish innovative ways to boost product recyclability and levels of recycled content to meet their sustainable-packaging commitments, address consumer concerns, and adapt to rapidly rising regulatory pressure could face the very real risk that they cannot achieve their goals because of an anticipated shortage of recycled materials: collection levels of high-quality recycled material look set to remain almost flat, creating supply challenges for brand owners and packaging companies, says the study.  Graphene plastic recycling

If brands with public recycled-content commitments follow through on their plans, the US demand for rPET in 2030 would outpace supply by about three times. As the supply-and-demand imbalance widens, the price premium between rPET and virgin PET has the potential to rise significantly over the next decade. The challenge for the industry moving forward will be to unlock additional rPET supply, the experts say and suggest three potential approaches, centered on boosting supply, ensuring access, and designing for circularity, that could also be applicable to other packaging substrates.

The experts have evaluated that today only about 27 per cent of PET bottles and about 18 per cent of all recyclable PET plastic waste is collected, the rest ends up in landfills. In recent years, the collection and sorting of PET has not improved significantly. As a result, rPET supply in North America grew only about 1 per cent per year in 2012-22. While there have been some new entrants in the recovery and reprocessing value chain, process losses have not been significantly reduced. This means that about 4.6 billion pounds of PET ends up in landfills every year.

Rapidly growing demand combined with stagnant supply could lead to a supply-demand imbalance for rPET in the future, the study outlines. Historically, rPET supply has only grown by about 1 per cent per year over 2012-22, while consumption has grown by about 4 per cent per year over the same period. If brands fully deliver on their recycled content commitments by 2030, demand for rPET is expected to grow by about 15 per cent per year between 2022 and 2030, the study says. Over the same period, supply is expected to continue to grow by only about 1 per cent, so that by 2030 demand will be three times higher than available supply.      Graphene plastic recycling

In the future, ESG-driven use of rPET is expected to expand its market share and potentially lead to increasing price premiums as demand for rPET grows. In addition, brand owners may consider switching from other plastics – such as HDPE, PVC and PS – to rPET because it is more recyclable and considered more accessible compared to other plastics. This could lead to another supply shortage, the experts caution.

As future rPET availability will be determined by a combination of supply, demand and regulatory factors, packaging industry leaders should consider three meaningful ways to increase rPET availability, according to McKinsey:

Boost supply: With more than 80 percent of PET waste going unused, opportunities exist across the value chain to boost PET recovery, from collection through to sorting and processing. Given that recycling programs are often organized at the local level, there are opportunities to form public‒private partnerships to increase local collection rates in areas with underfunded or nonexistent curbside recycling.  Graphene plastic recycling

The Recycling Partnership, for example, is an organization that makes private investments in public recycling programs, with the aim of increasing the supply of recycled plastics. At the same time, investments in advanced sortation equipment at material recovery facilities are an additional avenue to increasing rPET supply. McKinsey also note that in some countries (such as the Nordic countries), national and state-level policies such as extended producer responsibility or deposit-return schemes are having a measurable influence on rPET supply.


Graphene plastic recycling

Plastic Omnium – In France, composite hydrogen tanks

Plastic Omnium is building Europe’s largest plant for high-pressure tanks for trucks and buses. composite hydrogen tanks Plastic Omnium The French group Plastic Omnium has started construction work on a new plant for the production of high pressure tanks (type IV) in composite material with fiber in Lachelle, in the department of Oise (Northern France). of carbon for hydrogen storage, intended to be installed on industrial vehicles and buses. With an investment estimated at 150 million euros and an annual production capacity of 80 thousand tanks, obtained through filament winding, once completed it will be the largest European plant. It will supply vehicle manufacturers such as Stellantis and HYVIA, creating 150 to 200 new jobs.  Graphene plastic recycling

Plastic Omnium - In France, composite hydrogen tanks

The works will be completed by the end of 2024. The company created the new Plastic Omnium New Energies division early last year and currently has a pilot plant in Belgium. Two more tank factories will be launched by the group in Shanghai (China) in 2026 and in Michigan (United States) the following year. From 2015 to today, the French group has invested over 400 million euros in this segment. Type IV tanks are designed for pressures from 350 to 700 bar. They are produced by the French group starting from a blown liner in thermoplastic resin, subsequently wrapped with carbon fibers impregnated with resin. The result is a highly resistant and at the same time lightweight container.

Coperion and Herbold Meckesheim to present  product and process solutions at Fakuma 2023

Clothing microplastics polluting – In Emmen the solution must be invented for polluting microplastics in clothing 03-10-2023

Graphene plastic recycling