A new project in Belgium aimed at developing solvent-based extraction routes to remove and possibly reuse additives from recycled polymers, has launched.
The project, called ‘Remove2Reclaim – Recycling of plastics and titanium dioxide via advanced dissolution and separation techniques for plastic additive removal’, is a multi-partner effort in which both research and industry are taking part.
One of the in total five industrial partners is Ineos Styrolution, a company with a long history of investing into basic research on advanced recycling technologies. Past efforts include completing the first lab-scale production of virgin polystyrene from depolymerised material and driving the commercialisation of enhanced recycling of polystyrene forward. Participation in the Remove2Reclaim project will enable the company to build up expertise related to recycling via dissolution, a route the company sees as complementary to its existing mechanical and depolymerisation recycling projects.
Among the polymers targeted in the project are polystyrene, HIPS (high impact polystyrene) and ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). Styrenics are amongst the most recyclable polymers.
While the main thrust at Ineos Styrolution is mechanical recycling of materials such as ABS and polystyrene and advanced recycling technologies, primarily via the depolymerisation of polystyrene, participation in this project ‘gives us the opportunity to get a complete picture’, said Michiel Verswyvel, Global R&D at Ineos Styrolution
The “Remove2Reclaim” project is funded by the Flemish Agency of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and organised under the umbrella of the Flemish spearhead cluster Catalisti. Research partners include Ghent University, KU Leuven, VITO and Centexbel.