MOSCOW (MRC) -- CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL), Pune jointly with Reliance Industries Ltd and several other companies from Pune have achieved a breakthrough to manufacture useful moulded plastic components from COVID-19 PPE waste, said Economictimes.
The successful "pilot project has the potential to scale up and replicate throughout the country to convert PPE waste into useful and safe products," RIL said in a statement.
A pilot project converted the decontaminated PPE waste (mainly comprising PPE suits/overalls) into an easily processable and upcycled agglomerated form (pellets or granules). The polymer pellets can find usage in non-food applications, including high-performance automotive components.
A substantial increase in demand for single-use plastic items such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), masks and gloves has been witnessed since the pandemic.
Across India, more than 200 tonne of COVID-19 related waste was generated every day in May 2021. So far, this hazardous PPE waste is incinerated at central waste management (BMWM) facilities. Incineration is energy-intensive and leads to the release of harmful greenhouse gases.
As MRC informed earlier, Reliance Industries (RIL) has taken off-stream one of its polypropylene (PP) plants in Jamnagar, India for a scheduled maintenance. Thus, this unit with an annual capacity of 400,000 tons/year of PP was shut on 5 August 2021 and will remain idle for approximately one month. The local supply is expected to take a hit from the shutdown, especially when demand is recovering from the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,176,860 tonnes in the first half of 2021, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of exclusively low density polyethylene (LDPE) decreased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 727,160 tonnes in the first six months of 2021, up by 31% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased. Supply of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) subsided.
Reliance Industries is one of the world's largest producers of polymers. Thus, the company produces among others polypropylene, polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride.