Table of contents:
- Billions just land in the sea
- With water, pressure and energy
- Vegetable raw material from prehistoric times becomes "immortal"
Video: Plastic Waste Becomes Petroleum Again In Minutes
2023 Author: Hannah Pearcy | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 11:39
The aim is to be renewable, sustainable and reduce waste. That is also behind the combination of words Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor Technology (short: Cat-HTR). With this process, Igus emphasizes, plastic waste can be recycled within 20 minutes. The petroleum obtained in this way can then be used again for the production of new polymer products, it is said. To support the circular economy of plastics, Igus has now invested 4.7 million euros in a company that wants to put the first commercial Cat HTR plant into operation.
Billions just land in the sea
Igus points out that around eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the world's oceans every year. At the same time, the value of these lost resources is $ 80 billion. The problem so far, however, is that the majority of the polymer recyclables are simply burned and only 14% are recycled. Large-scale, efficient plastic recycling is therefore also an important topic at Igus. With the new chainge program, Igus has already taken a courageous step in the right direction in the classic recycling of plastic - i.e. sorting, shredding, re-granulating and reprocessing it into products - since October last year: The company takes "e-chains", i.e. energy chains regardless of the manufacturer after the operational end of a machine,regranulates the plastic and processes it back into new products. “With the Igus-chainge program, we successfully started recycling plastics. This is the best way for high-performance plastics,”Frank Blase, Managing Director of Igus GmbH, is certain.
With water, pressure and energy
Worldwide, however, mixed waste always remains, says the managing director. And in the case of non-technical plastics, this means 100 to 1000 times larger quantities. "In this case, 'chemical recycling' offers new solutions," explains Blase. In the middle of last year, he was made aware of the Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor technology in an article by the FAZ, it is said, and then contacted the German inventor Prof. Thomas Maschmeyer in Sydney. Seven months later, after intensive research, Igus is now investing four million pounds (4.7 million euros) in Mura Technology Ltd. and thus also in the construction of the first Cat HTR plant, Blase lets know.
The patented Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor was developed in 2007 and tested in a pilot plant in Australia for over 10 years. With Cat-HTR, classic non-recyclable plastic waste can be converted back to petroleum within 20 minutes and this saves resources than compared to the extraction of fossil petroleum, emphasizes the Igus decision maker. Only water, high temperatures and pressure would be enough to separate and reconnect the molecules. One plant alone could process 20,000 tons of plastic in one year, saving 28,180 tons of CO 2. That corresponds to the annual consumption of 5983 cars or the annual energy requirement of 4914 households, it is said.
And this is how it works: video
Vegetable raw material from prehistoric times becomes "immortal"
The first commercial Cat HTR plant is currently being planned in Wilton, Great Britain. Construction starts this year. Waste companies then deliver the raw material to be recycled to achieve their recycling goals. The customer can obtain the oil obtained at a price similar to fossil oil, explains Igus about the business model. A total of four Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactors are to be built in Wilton in order to be able to process over 80,000 t of plastic waste annually. In the next step, Mura plans to issue licenses worldwide and build corresponding systems. "We are committed to bringing the world of plastics into balance with technical solutions," said Blase on this encouraging step from Igus.
This article first appeared on our partner portal Maschinenmarkt.de.
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