Würzburg, Germany – The German Plastics Centre SKZ and Fraunhofer IFAM are working on technology that turns thermally damaged PET into polyester polyols. Importantly, it uses existing machine technology, making the whole process more affordable, SKZ said.
While recycling streams for PET bottles are already well developed, the RezyBond project is focusing specifically on PET fractions that are thermally damaged as they have already been recycled several times, and also PET materials that are more difficult to recycle, including other forms of packaging.
The recycling is carried out using a standard twin-screw extruder. “Our goal is to develop a continuous, reactive recycling process for PET recyclates into polyester polyols,” said Hatice Malatyali, SKZ’s group manager for extrusion and compounding. “These can then be used as chemical feedstock. The polyols obtained can be used as raw materials for a wide range of technological applications, such as adhesives and coatings.”
The project will use the polyols as starting materials for adhesive formulations. SKZ is planning a demonstration plant to show the process to interested companies.