Italian mineral water company Ferrarelle SpA has set up a bottle-to-bottle recycling unit at its facility in Presenzano, Italy, to close the loop on end-of-life PET bottles.
The new unit will produce up to 3.000 kg/h of flakes recycled from post-consumer PET bottles, said a 24 July statement by Novara, Italy-based recycling technology company Amut, which contributed to the project.
The unit employs a re-gradation process, also known as solid state polycondensation, through which the molecular weight of the PET can be increased, to enhance the mechanical and rheological properties of the polymer for better downstream processing.
The treated PET produces flakes suitable for food applications, which are processed directly into preforms for blow moulding into bottles
Amut has supplied the washing line – including strong cleaning ‘Turbo Washer' and ‘Friction Washer' technologies – to the project.
With the new process in place, Ferrarelle expects preform production to exceed its annual demand of 700 million a year.
According to Pietro Bortone, plant manager Presenzano, the company will also seek to sell the recycled PET to third parties as a new source of revenue.