News from our Members – IFP Energies Nouvelles
With the development of PET in the 1990s, IFPEN started to research on the chemical recycling of plastics. Mechanical recycling works for clear plastics bottles, but it is still a challenge when it comes to the treatment of opaque bottles and PET trays. In 2015, IFPEN launched a project to address the need for purification aimed at recycling these materials while eliminating pigments and dyes.
IFPEN believes that chemical recycling is one of the solutions that will make it possible to obtain colorless PET, suitable for contact with food from opaque packaging and waste containers. It is also developing a process that can be used to convert waste colored, opaque or heat-formed PET flakes into a colorless monomer.
The research has enabled IFPEN to:
validate the proof of concept regarding key elements of the process in the laboratory,
produce the pure monomer from several dozen kilos of opaque pet flakes from the French recycling sector. Yields obtained in optimized operating conditions confirm the technical and economic viability of the options retained.
Frédéric Frave (PET Recycling Process Project Manager) says that the next steps are to“ involve a facility operating continuously on a representative scale, will consist in completing the date required for industrial-scale extrapolation.”
For more details and information, visit IFPEN's page.
About IFP Energies Nouvelles
IFPEN is a major player in research and training in the fields of energy, transport and environment. Technological innovation is at the core of its work, ranging from research to industry. Pivotal to IFPEN’s development policy, the IFP Group brings together leading industrial players worldwide and young innovative companies. Axens, one of the IFPEN’s subsidiary, provides a complete range of solutions for the conversion of oil and biomass to cleaner fuels, for the production and purification of major petrochemical intermediates as well as for gas processing and conversion options. Axens covers the entire value chain, from feasibility study to unit start-up and follow-up throughout the entire unit cycle life.