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Development of a selective, green solvent-based recovery process for waste polystyrene and polycarbonate

Objective

Expanded polystyrene is widely used as packaging for foodstuffs and for shipping. Several hundred thousand tonnes of polystyrene are sent unnecessarily to landfill every year in the UK and Europe, where it does not biodegrade but persists for hundreds of years. Meanwhile, oil-derived feedstocks are being consumed in the production of new polystyrene. Recycling systems for polystyrene are underdeveloped compared to those in existence for many other plastics, owing to the unfavourable economics of collecting and recycling low density material.
The proposed project will develop a new process by which an environmentally friendly
and selective solvent is used to dissolve and recycle polystyrene waste into a highpurity
product comparable to virgin material. A novel thermoplastic recovery system
will be developed and integrated within a modular, scalable recycling process. This will
facilitate:
• Reduced pressure on oil feedstocks for virgin polystyrene production
• High value-added product manufactured from effectively zero-value waste, to
be sold by the end user
The technology will build on the success already achieved under the UK TSB-funded
“HiPerPol” project, whereby solvent-based systems have been developed for the
selective separation of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyethylene (PE) from mixed
plastic waste streams. The extension of the technology to polystyrene and
polycarbonate will greatly increase the capability of this technology to deal with the
high volumes of mixed polymer waste, whereby individual polymers can be separated
and recycled at a far higher degree of purity (and consequently value) than is
currently possible.

The process can also be extended to other thermoplastics.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/polymer science
  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/waste management/waste treatment processes/recycling

Call for proposal

FP7-SME-2011
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

BSG-SME-AG - Research for SME associations/groupings

Coordinator

ASSOCIATION EUROPEENNE DES RECYCLEURS DE PLASTIQUES
Address
Avenue De Cortenbergh 71
1000 Bruxelles
Belgium
Activity type
Other
EU contribution
€ 359 028
Administrative Contact
Antonino Furfari (Mr.)

Participants (8)

EUROPEAN MANUFACTURERS OF EXPANDED POLYSTRYRENE VZW

Participation ended

Belgium
Address
Weertersteenweg 158
3680 Maaseik
Activity type
Other
Administrative Contact
Annette Schäfer (Ms.)
THE BRITISH PLASTICS FEDERATION LBG
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 280 834
Address
Rivington Street 6 Bath Place
EC2A 3JE London
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Alan Davey (Mr.)
EUROPEAN PLASTICS CONVERTERS
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 303 690
Address
Avenue De Cortenbergh 71
1000 Bruxelles
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Wouter Geurts (Mr.)
ENV-AQUA SOLUTIONS LTD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 231 137
Address
Myton Road 304
CV34 6PU Warwick
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Philip Kellner (Dr.)
REYTRAPLAST SA

Participation ended

Spain
Address
Carrer De Gran Vial 6
08170 Montornes Del Valles Barcelona
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Robert Carroll (Mr.)
TWI LIMITED
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 90 300
Address
Granta Park Great Abington
CB21 6AL Cambridge
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Kerry Peddar (Ms.)
FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.
Germany
EU contribution
€ 10 880
Address
Hansastrasse 27C
80686 Munchen
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Walter Krause (Mr.)
MIKROLIN HUNGARY TERMELO ES SZOLGALTATO KFT
Hungary
EU contribution
€ 234 431
Address
Buzavirag Utca 7
2800 Tatabanya
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Ivan Ivanovics (Mr.)