solvoPET

solvoPET

Development of a Recycling Technology for PET Waste Plastics from Multilayer Material and Other Waste Composites
Description

solvoPET aims to develop a solvolytic recycling process for materials made of PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) in multilayer or mixed materials and to carry out experimental trials. Inactive patents for solvolysis of single-variety PET waste form the basis for this research: those solvolytic processes will be enhanced into a continuous waste treatment concept that can recycle PET waste. This enables the recycling of the PET materials present in the mixed waste and the separation of differing amounts of interfering substances, with the latter being redirected to other uses. The recycling process generates the basic components of PET: monoethylene glycol and terephthalic acid. The flexibility of the process enables sorting of waste from very inhomogenous materials sources such as marine and technical PET wastes. The new recycling process will be tested and evaluated in a pilot plant. The data from this testing is included into continuous economic and ecological assessments of the procedure and its integration into the value chain.

Main areas of work

  • Development of the technical basis for continuous solvolysis
  • Operation of the pilot plant for experimental development and technological protection of the solvolysis process
  • Development of a mass and energy balances of the continuous processing methods (for pure and mixed PET waste)
  • Development of a model-based tool for the analysis and assessment of environmental impacts
  • Determination of market requirements with regard to recycling routes and required specifications for new streams of recyclable materials
  • Opening up new sources of supply for PET waste composites from post-consumer collections and technical applications

WP 1 Basic research, process and apparatus design

Contact person
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stephan Scholl, Technical University of Braunschweig, Institute for Chemical and Thermal Process Engineering, Langer Kamp 7, 38106 Braunschweig, e-mail: s.scholl@tu-braunschweig.de

Project partner
Fraunhofer ICT, Reclay Materials GmbH, RITTEC Umwelttechnik GmbH, SCHILLER Apparatebau GmbH, VTU Engineering Deutschland GmbH

Short description
The technical basis for continuous solvolysis of single-variety PET, multilayer PET and mixed PET is developed in WP 1. This includes laboratory tests of the critical process steps for dissolving, separating impurities, and purifying. The aim is to identify the required process functions, quantify advantageous processes and operating parameters and thus develop the main features of the continuous process. The data serve as a basis for the planning, design, construction and commissioning of a modular pilot plant, which enables investigations of different devices.

WP 2 Pilot studies

Contact person
Carsten Eichert, RITTEC Umwelttechnik GmbH, Feldstraße 29, 21335 Lüneburg, e-mail: eichert@rittec.eu

Project partner
Fraunhofer ICT, TU Braunschweig ICTV, Reclay Materials GmbH, SCHILLER Apparatebau GmbH, VTU Engineering Deutschland GmbH

Short description
The central experimental design and technological validation of the solvolysis process takes place through the operation of the pilot plant. The process engineering solutions found in the basic investigations in WP 1 are implemented here. First, PET of a higher purity is processed. For this purpose, the continuous operation is represented. The final goal is the continuous operation of the pilot plant for mixed PET waste streams.

WP 3 Accounting and multi-criteria rating

Contact person
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christoph Herrmann, Technical University of Braunschweig, Institute of Machine Tools and Production Technology, Langer Kamp 19B, 38106 Braunschweig, e-mail: c.herrmann@tu-braunschweig.de

Project partner
TU Braunschweig ICTV, RITTEC Umwelttechnik GmbH, Reclay Materials GmbH

Short description
The aim is to establish a closed and consistent mass and energy balance of the continuous processing method (for single-variety and mixed PET waste) parallel to the experimental development of the recycling process. This must first be created for the continuous operation of the pilot plant, compared with the operating data and then scaled to potential market scenarios. Based on the formulated requirements and the data from the pilot plant, a model-based tool for the analysis and evaluation of environmental impacts will be developed.

WP 4 Market analysis and technology implementation

Contact person
Carsten Eichert, RITTEC Umwelttechnik GmbH, Feldstraße 29, 21335 Lüneburg, e-mail: eichert@rittec.eu

Project partner
Fraunhofer ICT, TU Braunschweig ICTV, TU Braunschweig IWF, Reclay Materials GmbH, SCHILLER Apparatebau GmbH, VTU Engineering Deutschland GmbH

Short description
The market requirements with regard to recycling routes and required specifications for new streams of recyclable materials will be determined. By means of potential analysis, the proportion of recyclable technical waste in machine tools and industrial plants in Germany is also estimated. Based on this, new sources of supply for PET waste composites from post-consumer collections and technical applications will be developed. New potential partners for the implementation of the newly developed solvolysis process in the value chain and the new disposal channels will be identified.

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