Sulingen, Germany -- H&S Anlagentechnik GmbH has received an order -- from a major Polish manufacturer of slabstock foam -- to supply the world's first industrial-scale system to recover polyol from flexible polyurethane foam waste.
The main target of the project is to increase sustainability in the PU mattresses manufacturing, said H&S, in a 4 Oct statement. The unit for the Polish foamer is designed to produce 2500 tonnes of polyol a year, and will start up in spring 2013.
Besides the core reactor, H&S will also deliver the entire storage and conveying facilities for the solid and liquid input, as well as the tank farm for the recovered polyol.
The polyol recovery process developed by H&S is based on acidolysis, under which flexible PU foam is converted into polyol in the presence of different carboxylic acids.
H&S says comprehensive evaluation of the polyol has already been performed, making foam in cooperation with the customer, on its continuous slabstock production line. The polyol used for industrial test runs was generated in H&S's laboratory pilot reactor.
Recycling foam scrap in this way enables H&S's customer to return all flexible foam residues arising during processing of the foam blocks back into production.
The recovered polyol can be used to replace up to 20% of virgin original polyol without compromising the quality of the resulting PU foam products, H&S explains.
Besides the environmental advantages of in-house recycling, H&S says its customer "was convinced by the considerable savings in raw materials purchase, as well as short payback period."