Technological watch

Perfect allies for a more sustainable PVC supply chain

PVC represents a first choice material, promoting transition to a circular economy. In fact, PVC can be recycled even more than height times thanks to its polymeric structure, while maintaining the same performance levels. In that sense, granulation is one of the best processes to transform end-of-life PVC products or residues resulting from other industrial processes into new raw materials. Nonetheless, one of the main challenges in recycling PVC lies in converting the regenerated material into a high-quality product: Bausano twin-screw extruders fully meet this requirement, producing granules obtained from the recovery of rigid and flexible PVC, which are characterised by the highest standards.

“PVC is among the most widespread thermoplastic polymers in the world for applications in a variety of sectors, from construction to medical. The sustainability of its life cycle makes this material a valuable resource in the implementation of European strategies for the recovery and reuse of plastic. In particular, the recycling of post industrial PVC residues reaps a double benefit: on the one hand, environmental protection, reducing both the consumption of the energy required to produce the same amount of new PVC and greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, granulation reduces company expenses owing to the disposal of PVC waste to a minimum, creating a closed loop process that converts a management cost into a profit”, Alessandro Ruotolo, extrusion test manager at Bausano, explained.

In specific terms, the extrusion process of residues or waste, to be treated with additives, fillers and fibres, requires high performance, especially in the mixing and degassing stages. This is why the use of twin-screw machines for re-extrusion into granules offers concrete advantages, in terms of greater flexibility in the formulation to reach the required result. Furthermore, the presence of contaminants, which represents one of the primary difficulties in the regeneration of the PVC, can be stopped by a specifically designed filter change system.

In detail, Bausano’s MD Plus and MD Nextmover twin-screw extrusion lines are also suitable for recycling processes as they are able to process and remove impurities of plastic materials, such as PVC resulting from scraps or post-consumer waste. The qualified consultancy of the Technical Team along every step of the way allows twin-screw extruders to give the extruded products a uniform final composition, ideal for the subsequent moulding, extrusion or calendering processes.

“At Bausano, we think that the way the production and consumption of plastic is perceived, as we know it today, must be radically changed so that the entire cycle we belong to can really be sustainable and replicable over time. This is why we believe it is essential to invest in R&D, in order to enhance the technologies able to improve the environmental footprint of PVC. This will speed up the transition to a circular economy and contribute to mitigating climate change”, Alessandro Ruotolo added.



Publication date: 28/07/2021

Macplas

This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2020-07-14