MultiCycle features prominently is a newly published article in HORIZON, the EU Research and Innovation Magazine.
Interviewed by Sandrine Ceurstemont, MultiCycle project coordinator Elodie Bugnicourt from IRIS Technology Group describes how the CreaSolv® selective dissolution process at the heart of MultiCycle is already showing promising benefits over existing methods in recovering single polymer streams from hard to recycle multimaterials at small technical scale as the project passes mid-term.
Often materials like packaging are made up of different types of plastic which makes them challenging to recycle. Fresh food for example, is often protected by multilayered structures, and lids, films and trays may well not be made from the same type of plastic. Similarly, glass or carbon fibre reinforced composites found in various interior and exterior car parts, present insurmountable challenges to current recycling technologies. “Either they are landfilled or in the best case scenario, incinerated with energy recovery,” according to Elodie Bugnicourt.
Using a suitable targeted CreaSolv® formulation and process conditions informed by advanced AI-assisted monitoring technology, different types of plastic and fibres are extracted and separated by selective, sequential dissolution. Then the polymers – long chains of molecules that make up a plastic – are recovered from the solution in solid form and reshaped into plastic pellets. Recovered fibres can also be reused, whilst the all-important solvents are recovered in closed-loop fashion to use again and again.
MultiCycle’s 25kg/hr pilot scale demonstration facility, located in Bavaria is expected to start coming online in July, with a campaign of trials on a range of industrially relevant and representative waste streams in the following months.
The full article , which you can read here, also describes how another EU project POLYINSPIRE is investigating how conventional recycling can be improved to boost the quality of recycled polyamides and polyurethanes, by incorporating tough, malleable vitrimer additives high energy irradiation into the material reprocessing.
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