Presenting innovative technology at IFAT 2024

Date: 25.04.2024Source: carboliq

Chemical recycling is increasingly becoming an alternative to incineration. As a part of this development, carboliq will be represented at the IFAT, taking place in Munich from 13th – 17th May.

Chemical recycling is considered a futureproof solution for closing material loops. It produces virgin-grade recyclates and offers the opportunity to utilise mixed or contaminated plastics which are currently not recyclable. But does chemical recycling really meet these expectations? Can it close the gap in the closed-loop recycling of plastics? What material yield does the process deliver? And what quality of recovered material can it generate?

The innovative carboliq technology already answers these questions today.  The method has been used to convert a wide range of input materials into valuable liquid resources.

Other thermo-chemical conversion processes need high shares of polyolefins (PE, PP, PS) in the input materials. But carboliq can also handle materials with significant PA and PET contents as well as mixed and contaminated plastics which currently go into thermal recycling. Due to its combination of thermal, catalytic and mechanical-chemical mechanisms, the carboliq method breaks down the polymers under moderate process conditions. The process runs under atmospheric pressure and at temperatures below 400°C. If the power source is 100% renewable energy, carboliq is even a net-zero process. The small quantities of gases and solid process residues generated are either input into other recycling stages or responsibly disposed of. Depending on the quality of the infeed, the carboliq method delivers a high oil yield of up to 75%. The recovered oil is a fully equivalent substitute for fossil raw materials. It can be used to produce plastics in virgin-grade quality.

Said Haupts: “We have concrete proof of this, so we can contribute hard data and facts to the debate, which is still conducted on a largely emotional level.” 

At the IFAT, the carboliq team will present the single-stage carboliq process for liquefaction of solid hydrocarbons at Booth 232 in Hall B4. In addition, experts will talk to potential users about whether and how test campaigns for the oiling of individual waste fractions can be carried out on the carboliq pilot plant. They will also explain the conditions that are required.

Added Haupts: “The plant has been in continuous operation for years, and meets a degree of maturity that complies with TRL8. Based on the results of test campaigns, we are adapting the process and developing solutions for integration into our customers’ value chains.” 

The carboliq representative, who considers himself a ‘visionary as well as a realist’, is confident that further investors will develop an interest in carboliq.

Continued Haupts: “We can only achieve our target recycling rates and climate protection goals by building more industrial plants. This will enable the transition from a linear to a circular value chain in the plastics industry.”

Currently SÜDPACK, a leading manufacturer of high-performance films for the packaging industry, is the most important project partner and the majority shareholder in carboliq. Ground-breaking projects have already succeeded in converting multilayer films and contaminated material which are not suitable for mechanical recycling into oil. This resource was then used in the production of valuable plastics in virgin-grade quality. Also in other industries where products consist of mixed or non-recyclable plastics at the end of their life, carboliq offers a way of closing the material loop, reducing consumption of fossil raw materials, and contributing massively to climate protection. Dirk Hardow sees opportunities above all in the automotive industry. “In auto manufacturing, it’s often not possible to use granules from mechanical recycling for safety reasons. That’s because the process alters the properties of the plastics, for example by reducing their strength.” It is also conceivable that carboliq solutions can be adapted for recycling waste textiles, which often consist of fibres with high polyamide and/or polyester contents. These can be optimally recycled using carboliq technology.

Plastics manufacturers and disposal companies are increasingly cooperating in efforts to intelligently close plastics loops. At the IFAT, visitors can find out how the interaction of various recycling processes and technologies can generate circular products from plastic waste.

In what promises to be a fascinating discussion round, visitors can gain in-depth insights into the latest advances in recycling technologies for complex waste streams, as well as new potentials for the regeneration of scarce resources. The title is: ‘Adjusting to climate change – Creating an innovative and efficient waste and recycling industry’. Experts such as Christian Haupts and other panellists will discuss how mechanical and chemical recycling can be intelligently combined. They will report on the latest progress in the various recycling technologies for plastics and their relevance for the circular economy and climate protection. The discussion will take place on May 17, 2024 from 11.30 to 12.20 on the Orange Stage at the trade show in Riem.  For more visit booth 232 in Hall B4, and on the PlasticsEurope joint booth in Hall A1 or at carboliq.com/en/

David Cox / IDM

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