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waste of PET and polyester is recycled to new material
Photo: Karin Lindqvist

Chemically Recycled PET/Polyester as Raw Material for Additive and New Polymer

Industrial waste of polyester, used straps, production waste of textile and PET packages with labels, dyestuff and film have been materials recycled by depolymerization. The product after recycling is pure monomer, that can be raw material for synthesis of additive, but also be used as the building block for new PET plastic.

Waste turned into new material

Industrial waste of polyester, used straps, textile production waste and PET packages with labels, dyestuff and covering film have been materials recycled by depolymerization. The resulting product is a pure monomer, the building block for new PET plastic. The following re-polymerisation of the monomer shows that the prepared polymer can be used to meltspin new polyesterfibers that are weaved to textile with properties in level with textile prepared from virgin polyester fiber. The monomer has also been used to prepared plasticizer for flooring.

Large environmental savings

The results are a clear example of how materials resources can be utilized circularly with large environmental savings. The climate impact can decrease from 1,8 to 0,5 kg CO2 -eq/ kg monomer when substituting oil with waste as raw material. Real waste has been used in the experiments and the solvent  used in the process has successfully been purified and recycled. This makes up the basis for taking the process into pilot and industrial scale.

Recycling becomes production

Scaling up means that the recycling process is a production of the monomer bishydroxy terephthalate, BHET, that will be used as raw material for others products such as plasticizer or new PET plastic. It will constitute an example of circular materials utilization when the raw material for production of monomer is waste from post-consumer packages or production. End of life products of PET and polyester must be considered as raw material when scaling up. The process is a solution to the problem that valuable resources are incinerated.


Summary

Project name

Chem Rec PET

Status

Completed

RISE role in project

project manager

Project start

Duration

2020-06-15

Total budget

3 714 000 SEK

Partner

Axfoundation, Axfood, Axel Johnson International, Diab Group, Nexam Chemicals, National Högsäter, Sporda Nonwoven, Recyctec , Perstorp , Tarkett, FTI, Didriksons Regnkläder, FOV Fabrics

Project members

Supports the UN sustainability goals

12. Responsible consumption and production
13. Climate action
Karin Lindqvist

Contact person

Karin Lindqvist

Forskare

+46 10 228 47 74
karin.lindqvist@ri.se

Read more about Karin