GENEVA — October 18, 2016 — Up until now, recycling of waste streams based on mixed plastics has often proved to be unfeasible from a performance and overall cost-benefit perspective. DuPont brings a new solution to this important challenge, with its new series of Entira™ EP copolymers. These high performance compatibilizers, based on ethylene copolymers, are able to boost the performance of recycled polyolefins to a similar level as virgin resins.
Mixed streams containing polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) are often difficult to separate due to the similarities in densities. If a waste stream of one of these two polymers is contaminated by the other one, the resulting mechanical properties are often very low. This can make it difficult or impossible to process such feedstock using standard polymer extrusion or injection technologies.
Adding Entira™ EP compatibilizer (typically 3-7 wt%) bridges the PE contaminant to the PP matrix (or vice-versa) and creates a homogeneous recycled resin. It leads to increased performance and surface properties for items manufactured with such ‘upgraded’ recycled resin. In addition to its use for production of bulky items (flower pots, outdoor furniture), such recycled resins will be suitable for use in higher value applications, as in thin films and membranes for the construction industry.
The Entira™ EP technology is experiencing success in the marketplace with key players in the recycling market, for example at Regeplastic in France. “Incompatible plastics mixtures are very common in waste streams. As a consequence, it is expensive and often non profitable for recyclers to collect, clean, sort, grind and melt process the streams. Our Entira™ EP technology can help solve this challenge, enabling recyclers to use less expensive plastic waste feedstock while producing recycled pellets with good properties, and to reach profitability in return,” said Loic Rolland (R&D Fellow) and Lucie Charbonnel (Marketing Specialist), DuPont Performance Materials.
Beside recycling of polypropylene-polyethylene blends, Entira™ EP is already being used for compatibilization of polypropylene (PP) with polyvinylbutyral (PVB) in commercial applications. For example, Hainaut-Plast, a French leader in recycling of PVB, is using it in diverse end-use applications such as sound deadening parts for automotive. The unique process used to recover PVB from waste glass shields, combined with the addition of Entira™ EP, makes for a more economical and efficient recycling process.
“This market-driven collaboration with DuPont was essential to enable production of a recycled material for high performance applications. The new Entira™ EP technology allows us to achieve a more distinct recycled product whilst simultaneously optimizing our production,” said Bruno Gautier (Development Manager) Hainaut-Plast.
Entira™ EP, as well as DuPont’s broad portfolio of compatibilizers, are revolutionizing the recycling industry, by helping companies meet the demands for high performance recycled materials.
Posted October 19, 2016
Source: DuPont Performance Materials