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From PET-waste to qualitative PET-granules  #12 (58), 2007

PTP GroupPTP company has developed chemical PET processing technology ensuring food grade polymer production which meets all the standards of food industry

Plastic recycling exists for relatively short time and since the beginning it was clear that the only method to get a pure polymer is to break the chain of polymers down to its basic components and then rebuild it to get absolutely pure material.
Mechanical recycling cannot reach the purity required for food grade applications and, unfortunately, such methods as hydrolysis and pyrolysis proved to be too expensive due to high energy costs, and in any way their effectiveness is rather questionable.
Another way to get a toxic free polymer out of recycled material is solid state polycondensation by continuous or batch methods. Saying more clearly it is a short residence of flakes in the vacuum. Of course, polycondensation will do its job but what about investment and operating costs? This technology demands to install the production frame with different systems, heaters, coolers, processing stations – and in this case economic aspect can’t be ignored.
Literature about this subject is pretty wide but let us focus on PTP suggestions.
The recycling line starts from a mechanical washing machine that should remove all the organics and other contaminants as much as possible. Washing lines can be set up in many different ways according to dirtiness of scraps bottles. To obtain the result, PTP is working together with BAIMA S.r.L., an Italian company which supplies simple, affordable and reliable washing lines with new technology. This equipment allows to avoid steam and other sources of energy, low usage of chemicals, easy water control and filtering. No other energy sources are required even for the final drying which usually takes most of the energy because the last centrifuge delivers flakes with a mere 0, 8 % moisture content to the final stage of the process.
And further let us tell you about the magic transference of PET-wastes into pure, toxic free, food grade approved, crystallized pellets. The system PTP supplies starts from a feeder where washed flakes are loaded and then conveyed to the reactor where the merging with the modifier together with drying occurs. Residence of flakes in the reactor lasts for about 90 minutes at 150 C temperature. At the outlet flakes go through a final metal detector before entering a twin-screw extruder with venting where the final stage of modification takes place. In result, we have quality certified pellets which are ready to be used in any further process. The pelletizing quality is also guaranteed  by the BKG equipment, the company which supplies first class systems to the world of plastic since many years. The whole set up seems to sound too easy but it is actually so! TNO, PET Cycle, FDA cannot be wrong all together at the same time giving PTP lines approval certification for their results.
So is it possible to set up a plant starting from collected dirty bottles and go all the way to the new polymer with food grade characteristics with a reasonable investment, low power consumption, small working area, without air emission and polluted water discharges? The answer of PTP company: yes, it is possible!


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