Chemical recycling of polycarbonates reaches a major milestone

Chemical recycling of polycarbonates reaches a major milestone

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Covestro has developed an innovative process for recycling polycarbonate, i.e. polychain plastics, said the company.

In this process, plastics are converted back into their monomers, a precursor of plastics, so that they can be fed back into the production process as alternative raw materials. At Covestro in Leverkusen, the technical implementation of chemical recycling is now beginning on a pilot scale. On the way to industrial scale, the process is still being optimized and is undergoing further development stages.

"As a manufacturer of plastics such as polycarbonate, we naturally have a responsibility in dealing with these important materials, including at the end of their product life. Our advantage is: we know how our products are designed and can therefore conduct targeted research into recycling solutions," says Dr. Thorsten Dreier, Covestro's Chief Technology Officer. "The chemical recycling of polycarbonate is another example with which our colleagues in development show that closed cycles are possible in the future. We need to use end-of-life plastics as a resource and reuse them as alternative raw materials to close the loop."

The return of plastics through recycling replaces primary fossil raw materials in production. Comprehensive recycling thus contributes to climate neutrality and the protection of natural resources and the environment. Mechanical recycling of polycarbonate is already an important component of Covestro's recycling strategy. The mechanical recycling process is used whenever waste streams are sufficiently pure and the recycled polycarbonate meets the requirements profile of the future application.

Chemical recycling works in a complementary way to mechanical recycling - it converts plastic building blocks back into monomers, i.e. their individual building blocks. These can be separated and serve as raw materials for future plastic. Chemical recycling can therefore make larger waste streams that are unsuitable for mechanical processes in particular accessible for recycling; it allows the production of plastics that meet the highest quality requirements. Covestro is therefore actively developing chemical recycling.

We remind, Covestro has commenced a new manufacturing line for thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) that will be utilized for paint protection films (PPFs). The line is installed at the firm's current Taiwanese facility in Changhua. Products manufactured here will be available in the global market. The world's PPF market is expected to rise steadily until 2030, with Asia-Pacific representing the biggest share of the overall market.

Researchers use polymer coating to transform APL packaging into cooling films

Researchers use polymer coating to transform APL packaging into cooling films

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Bayreuth researchers, led by Prof. Dr. Markus Retsch, physical chemist, develop an upcycling process that gives aluminum-plastic composite films an innovative second use, said Specialchem.

An easy-to-apply coating transforms used APL packaging into high-performance, versatile cooling films that counteract another global problem - the high energy demand for cooling systems. Aluminum-plastic composite (APL) films are very often used for food packaging, but they pose a challenge when it comes to plastic recycling.

Films made of aluminum-plastic laminates (APL) have long been used extensively to extend the shelf life of chips, roasted and powdered coffee, milk, fruit juices and other foods. The films consist of several polymer layers and an aluminum layer, which protects the products from damaging factors –sunlight, heat, moisture and oxygen. However, recycling such composite films is difficult as a result of this combination of different materials.

The upcycling process of chips bags now developed in Bayreuth shows a way to improve the recycling of APL waste and, at the same time, reduce global energy consumption. The aluminum layer of APL packaging provides a mirror-like reflective surface, such as that found on emergency blankets.

If a clear polymer layer is now applied that increases the radiation of thermal energy, a powerful cooling system is complete. A simple laminating film, such as is commonly found in office supply stores, is already sufficient as a material for the coating.

The coating creates cooling foils that can be applied to any surface in the open air, such as umbrellas, blinds and awnings and thus, prevent heating from glaring sunlight. At the same time, the ambient heat is diverted to the cool space without the need for an external energy supply. These effects are referred to as ‘passive daytime cooling. Ideally, they can lead to temperatures below the ambient temperature, even in the case of intense sunlight.

We remind, Indorama Ventures has inked a deal with AMB to drive circularity in PET food tray packaging. The companies intend to manufacture recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) flakes by recycling PET food tray packaging. These high-quality rPET flakes can then be used for producing new food packaging trays, contributing to a circular economy system.

H.B. Fuller to showcase consumer packaging innovations at PACK EXPO Las Vegas

H.B. Fuller to showcase consumer packaging innovations at PACK EXPO Las Vegas

MOSCOW (MRC) -- H.B. Fuller Company, a leading global adhesives provider, will showcase the many ways in which its broad technology platform is addressing the top efficiency and circularity concerns of brand owners and packaging manufacturers worldwide at PACK EXPO Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center from 11 Sep 2023 to 13 Sep 2023, said Specialchem.

H.B. Fuller's innovative and sustainable e-commerce solutions are tamper-evident, enable easy opening and returns, and minimize packaging materials - offering an enhanced customer experience with less transit and protective packaging. Swift Melt PM7000 delivers excellent bond strength that ensures package integrity throughout the supply chain and across a wide temperature range.

Open Sesame Fibre-Based Tear Tapes enhance the "unboxing experience" by eliminating the need for box-cutting tools; the Tapes are also easily separated during the Old Corrugated Container (OCC) repulping process. Flextra flexible packaging adhesives reduce packaging waste, resist tears and punctures, and help preserve perishables through the control of moisture, air and light. FullVision, the company's proprietary software that analyzes end-of-line packaging data to improve product quality and plant productivity, ensures each box uses the right amount of adhesive.

H.B. Fuller will also showcase a wide range of technologies made with renewable and biobased materials, enabling customers to improve their products and processes through solutions that help them achieve their sustainability goals: reduce carbon footprint throughout the supply chain by lowering the packaging weight with reinforcement solutions, decreasing stretch wrap usage, minimizing packaging-to-product ratio and reducing food waste; reuse corrugated boxes with help from Open-Sesame tape technology.

This product supports shipper-to-display box designs - two functions in one sustainable package; recycle packaging with a new caustic washable adhesive solution to bond HDPE or paper label to PET packages; renew materials with bio-based flexible packaging, adhesives that support biodegradable flexible packaging, reinforcement tapes for repulpable packaging, and hot melt adhesives that contain bio-products; and return bottles made with Earthic washable water-based adhesives and easy returnable packaging design with Close Sesame system.

We remind, H.B. Fuller has acquired the industrial adhesives business of Wisdom Worldwide Adhesives, a provider of adhesives for the packaging, paper converting and assembly markets.

Alpek to shut down Mexican filament plant

Alpek to shut down Mexican filament plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Alpek announced the shutdown of its textile and industrial fiber production facility (“filament”) located in Monterrey, said the company.

The site was built in 1962, has an installed capacity of 100,000 tons of polymer and filament, and has represented minimal contribution to Alpek’s total EBITDA in recent years.

Alpek is continuously looking for opportunities to create value by streamlining its operations to meet the demands of the competitive markets it serves and assure its financial strength. The production oversupply experienced globally in recent years for the filament industry, among other factors, has significantly reduced its profitability, and as this situation is not expected to change in the near future, the Company has made the challenging decision to close its operations at such facility and will not be substituting production.

“The Company will provide a comprehensive separation package for all collaborators and all necessary support as part of the closure,” stated Jorge Young, Alpek’s CEO. “Although efforts were made, unfortunately this is the only option available at the time. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to each of the employees of this site for their commitment to the company throughout the years.”

We remind, Alpek, Indorama and FENC announced earlier that Corpus Christi Polymers (CCP) will resume construction on the facility in August. The plant is expected to begin production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and purified terephthalic acid (PTA) in early 2025. Construction of the state-of-the-art plan is resuming following a period of pandemic-related disruptions. The new facility is expected to be the largest vertically integrated PTA-PET production plant in the Americas, with annual capacities of 1.1m tonnes of PET and 1.3m tonnes of PTA. It will employ three state-of-the-art technologies.

Covestro Provides Partly Biobased PU Dispersion to Huafeng for Its Textile Coating

Covestro Provides Partly Biobased PU Dispersion to Huafeng for Its Textile Coating

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Covestro provides partly biobased polyurethane (PU) dispersion to Huafeng, a supplier in textile technology, to make more sustainably made athletic shoes and shorts for team Sonnenwagen, a student team from RWTH Aachen and FH Aachen, Germany, said Specialchem.

Team Sonnenwagen is committed to more sustainable mobility using renewable energy. The team attaches great importance to a more sustainable sports kit. Covestro is the main sponsor of Team Sonnenwagen.

The new official team equipment provided by Huafeng features shorts and sports shoes with designs using Huafeng’s newly launched HAPTIC® textile coating system, which contains partly biobased INSQIN® PU dispersions from Covestro.

In addition, fabrics for the garments and shoes are made by Huafeng based on Cyclone recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) yarns derived from post-consumer plastic bottles. The shoe upper material is made of 100 percent Cyclone rPET, while the shorts consist of 86 percent Cyclone rPET and 14 percent Spandex for ensuring a comfortable fit.

“Our new official equipment looks fantastic – and we’re particularly excited about its sustainability benefits! Combined with its excellent performance, it fits well with our vision for a more sustainable mobility future. We’re grateful for the continued support of Cyclone, Huafeng with its HAPTIC® products and Covestro as we pursue this vision,” said Lina Schwering, team manager of Team Sonnenwagen Aachen.

Developed by Huafeng using Covestro’s partly biobased PU Impranil® CQ DLS/1, the HAPTIC® Art textile coating system used for the shoes enables especially outstanding aesthetics, improved mechanical performance and reduced production-related emissions.

Thanks to its high solids content and thixotropic properties, the system allows manufacturers to achieve a high coating thickness, making it well-suited for creating coatings with detailed images and sophisticated 3D effects on apparel and footwear.

We remind, Covestro has started production in its new plant for polyurethane elastomers systems at its integrated site in Shanghai, China.