Ludwigshafen, Germany – BASF has released some details of a project to recycle end-of-life mattresses. The company says it wants to develop joint pilot projects later this year.
No details have been given about the technology it will use in the project at its Schwarzheide, Germany site.
It claimed that the recovered polyol has a brownish colour. ‘The resulting foam looks similar to a virgin material,' the company said. It added that there is a purifying step to remove non-polyol additives, and that the functionality of the recovered polyols is the same as those used in the original formulation.
Pilot testing is the current development stage and the recovered polyols are being added to foams in 'broad ranges'.
BASF technical project manager Arno Volkmann said: 'While mattresses are easy to collect and to sort out, at the end of their lifecycle they currently end up being either incinerated or in a landfill. '
'The target is to recover the raw materials with a quality comparable to that of non-recycled/virgin raw materials,' added Shankara Keelapandal, who works in business management for isocyanates in Europe.