Technological watch

Selective extraction process delivers useful recyclates for multilayer packaging and fibre-reinforced composites

A project to develop a pilot plant for industrial recycling of multi-material products presented its final findings last month. Researchers say their process can generate useable recyclates for multi-layer flexible packaging, and fibre-reinforced composites for automotive parts.

After 42 months of development, key stakeholders in the MultiCycle project, an international collaboration funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, presented the project’s findings in Ghent, Belgium, on 7th April.

The team behind the project say they have developed an industrial recycling pilot plant for thermoplastic-based multi-materials, which allows for the selective recovery of pure single plastic recyclates and fibres from mixed wastes.

MultiCycle has integrated the patented CreaSolv process, which purifies polymers by physical means via selective dissolution, with advanced digitalisation methods for feedstock identification, process monitoring and control.

New recyclates from the MultiCycle process have been evaluated in a range of product demonstrations by the project’s industrial end users, described in a series of case studies now available from the project website. One application is a blown film process using polyethylene recyclates sourced from co-mingled, printed flexibles from household municipal waste, which didn’t require pre-sorting.

Another example highlighted by the MultiCycle team saw the successful substitution of polypropylene and polyamide recyclate-based formulations into sheet laminate and hybrid composite injection moulding processes for a reinforced car battery carrier.

The finding provide the basis for recommendations towards future upscaling, and the project has also produced policy recommendations promoting waste management and resource efficiency improvements for the target packaging and automotive applications.        

The presentations from MultiCycle’s final dissemination event are available to download from the project website and can be watched again from the

Publication date: 16/05/2022

European Plastic Product Manufacturer

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

The website reflects only the author's view. The Commission is not responsible for any use thay may be made of the information it contains.
Last update: 2022-01-31