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Removal of Legacy Substances from polyvinylchloride (PVC) via a continuous and sustainable extrusion process

Project description

Out with the bad: Removing hazardous chemicals from poly vinyl chloride for safe reuse

Polyvinyl chloride, also called PVC or simply vinyl, is one of the most widely used polymers in the world. It can be found in products such as piping, shower curtains, window frames, cable insulation, flooring and even medical equipment. Due to the long useful life of many PVC products, old PVC products can contain hazardous additives that are no longer allowed in new PVC products, posing challenges for recycling. The EU-funded REMADYL project is tackling this important problem with a single-step continuous process to remove the additives and deliver high-quality REACH-compliant PVC. The team will produce new products from the recycled PVC while safely disposing of hazardous plasticisers and reusing the lead in batteries.


REMADYL aims at recycling so-called ‘old PVC’, i.e. PVC additivated with hazardous legacy substances (LS) such as low molecular weight phthalate plasticisers (mainly DEHP) and heavy metal based stabilisers (mainly lead). This ‘old PVC’ constitutes most of current hard (e.g. window frames, tubes) and soft (e.g. flooring or cables) PVC post-consumer waste. The presence of LS is a persistent barrier for PVC recycling as there are currently no economically viable solutions for their removal.
To tackle this major challenge, REMADYL will develop a breakthrough single step continuous process based on extractive extrusion technology in combination with novel solvents and melt filtration, which has the potential of rejuvenating ‘old PVC’ into REACH compliant high purity PVC tuned towards the demands of various soft and hard PVC products at market competitive cost (ca €570/ton, CAPEX and OPEX included). The process also has potential for other plastics applications, e.g. removal of (halogenated) flame retardants.
Using this process, REMADYL will demonstrate the circular use of PVC for window profiles and waterproofing sheets, providing a flagship example for the circular economy. The extracted phthalate plasticizers will be safely disposed (with energy valorisation) and the lead will be re-used in batteries.
REMADYL will deliver a breakthrough support to the Circular Economy Package and resource efficiency targets for Europe as recovered PVC will reduce incineration and landfilling. Assuming we recycle 400kton/year of ‘old PVC’ waste within 5 years after REMADYL, this will result in a reduction of ca 800ktons CO2eq and 8ktons lead emissions. This also implies the creation of ca 800 new jobs and a turnover of ca €280million. Safety aspects will be studied, leading to best practices, standardisation input and policy recommendations.
REMADYL consortium consists of 15 multidisciplinary partners, including 9 companies, and covers all expertise to maximise project impact.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 693 500,00

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Région de Bruxelles-Capitale/Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest Région de Bruxelles-Capitale/ Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest Arr. de Bruxelles-Capitale/Arr. Brussel-Hoofdstad
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 693 500,00

Participants (15)