BASF has once again expanded its product offering for plastics recycling, this time with a specific portfolio designed for chemical recycling.
Its PuriCycle line of products consists of catalysts and adsorbents developed to selectively remove or convert a wide range of impurities in pyrolysis oils derived from the chemical recycling of waste plastics.These pyrolysis oils are then fed into the production process for new plastics at the beginning of the value chain.
The purification of pyrolysis oils obtained from waste plastics is among the most demanding technical tasks in chemical plastics recycling. Impurities, such as halogen, nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur compounds but also higher levels of reactive components such as dienes, complicate the downstream use and impose strict limitations on the further processing of such streams in the production of new materials.
The ability of the PuriCycle products to purify these challenging pyrolysis oil streams is a major contribution to help closing the plastics loop, minimizing waste and ultimately opening up new feedstocks for the chemical industry, according to Detlef Ruff, Senior Vice President, Process Catalysts at BASF.
BASF has also developed a range of solutions targeted at the mechanical recycling process, several of which were presented at the Plastics Recycling Show Europe 2022 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, including technology and products to identify the grade of plastic, to improve efficiencies in the cleaning processes for recycling, and to boost the quality of recycled polymeric materials.
The company showed its Mobile Near-Infrared (NIR) Spectroscopy solution, called trinamiX - a handheld solution combining patented NIR detectors, data analysis and a user-friendly mobile app that enables on-the-spot plastic identification for more accurate sorting; as well as targeted PET cleaners and defoamers, created to save water, energy and process costs during the washing step. Sold under the names Gardoclean, Gardobond additive, Gardo Pure, and Gardofloc, these additives meet all quality regulations and are compatible with the requirements of the food industry.
BASF also introduced its IrgaCycle range of additives, designed to address specific quality issues associated with recycled resins such as limited processability, poor long-term thermal stability and insufficient protection against outdoor weathering, resulting from the repeated use and processing of recyclates which damages the polymer chains. Impurities and polymer contaminants in recycled plastics also accelerate polymer degradation, which changes the material properties. Recyclers and plastic converters can benefit from the IrgaCycle range to tackle quality and performance issues while processing recycled polymeric material and to increase the percentage of recycled content in end-use applications. The IrgaCycle range is offered as part of the Valeras portfolio, the brand name under which, since last year, BASF has marketed its range of sustainable plastic additive solutions.