Italian recycling machinery group Amut has been working with Indorama Ventures North America (IVL) on the construction of a new PET recycling facility in Mexico.
The new plant will be located at the site of IVL's Ecomex recycling joint venture in Guadalajara and is expected to start operation by autumn this year.
The unit will process more than 100 million pounds of plastic bottles annually into clean PET flakes to produce FuTuRe-branded food-grade PET, according to Yash Awasthi, vice president of Indorama Ventures North American Operations.
Amut is supplying a washing section with a cleaning capacity of 4,000 kg/h of post-consumer PET bottles to the plant.
The bottles recycled at the plant are collected from landfill but Amut's washing line is capable of producing clean PET flakes from “the dirtiest bottles seen in this market”, explained Awasthi.
The new washing plant has been purpose-developed by Amut to process these highly contaminated PET bottles. Wet-cold-cleaning technology has been incorporated in the de-labeller unit.
After delabelling, which in many cases also involves removing full-body shrink sleeves, two turbo and friction washer machines perform the cleaning phase.
To address the extreme level of contamination, the friction force has been increased to remove all fine pollutants, labels & glue, and the soil.
The pre-washing and de-labelling phases are carried out in a cold-water process while the turbo and friction washer have hot water flow.
Amut's technology is also claimed to optimise the operational costs, such as fresh water consumption, through continuingly filtering water which can be re-used during the whole process.
Amut will also upgrade an existing unit at the Ecomex plant.