A consortium of Spanish companies, led by Valencia-based Titan Recycling Solutions, has been created to develop a new recycling process for polyurethane waste.
The Foam2Foam project will investigate decomposing the material by using heat, chemicals or catalysers in a process called catalytic glycolysis.
Through the catalytic glycolysis process, green polyol raw materials are produced.
The objective of the project is to scale up the process and analyse its efficiency, according to the Spanish Plastics Technology Centre, Aimplas, which is also part of the consortium.
Polyurethane materials are widely used in many different applications in the automotive, furniture, packaging, construction and sportswear industries.
Because of the different forms the material can take - flexible, rigid, lightweight - and in the light of the fact that it tends to be combined with other materials, PU foams are difficult to recycle and are therefore generally landfilled or are mechanically recycled.