Recycling.

In the research area “plastics recycling” we deal with the circular economy for plastics. While in chemical recycling and dissolution we only cover specific topics, the focus in mechanical recycling is on the entire process chain. Here we conduct research regarding pre-treatment of plastics waste, converting of plastics waste into recyclate granules, quality control of process steps and material states, and post-treatment of recyclate granules. Furthermore, our research includes the digitalization and digital transformation of all process steps and the linking of offline and inline data.

 

Pre-treatment of plastics waste

Shredding/Milling

In our pilot plant, we are able to deal with various sampling sizes in order to investigate the influence of shredding/milling on the material properties. Bigger sampling sizes are shredded with a standard industrial shredder. For the handling of smaller sampling sizes, we are using either a cutting mill or a cryo mill.

Washing

To examine the influence of washing medium and washing temperature and to investigate the degree of contamination of various pre-treated plastic wastes, we conduct washing test with an industrial washing machine.

Sorting

Our sorting equipment is designed to deal with small but representative sampling sizes. We are able to conduct sorting by density, color and material.

Material Converting

Converting of plastics waste into recyclate granules

With our Erema Intarema® 1108TVEPlus we are able to convert plastics waste, either pre-treated or untreated, into recyclate granules. The machine is equipped with a pre-conditioning unit, an extruder, a fully automatic, self-cleaning filter, a degassing zone, and a pelletizer. Several inline inspection tools are attached to allow for inline quality assurance.

Material Analysis

Quality control of process steps and material states

Inline inspection tools allow for a continuous quality assurance along the process chain. Additionally, the material status is evaluated in our Smart Quality Lab, were we are able to perform chromatographic, spectroscopic, optical, gravimetrical, thermal, and rheological tests.

Post-treatment of recyclate granules

In this topic, we are focusing on material modification via compounding. Even though specific post-treatment equipment for deodorization is not implemented yet, various research topics are dealing with this kind of post-treatment.

Assoc. Prof. DI Dr. Jörg Fischer knows more about Recycling.