The best for the environment is an integrated solution for the existing different plastic waste streams that works with all available recycling and recovery technologies. The selection of processes should be based on the combination of Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) and mass balances with a good overview of the carbon footprint for the complete process and should include the collection up to the process as well as the output as polymer, feedstock, electricity or replacement for fossil fuel.

Since 2018 the wide public has been provided by some associations, experts and environmental groups with incorrect information about the Solvent-based purification (Dissolution) in general and for the CreaSolv® Process especially, describing this plastic recycling technology as chemical recycling and/or solvolysis.

Solvent-based Purification (dissolution) is based on physical and not on chemical reactions or changes and only the physical state of the polymer changes from solid to liquid and then back to solid. The polymer chains remain unchanged in contrary to Chemical Recycling and can be re-used in the original or similar applications. Therefore, it can be no surprise that the dissolution meets the criteria of mechanical recycling but not the ones of chemical recycling.

Therefor we decided to offer a 2 minutes/day Training Course about the Basics of Plastic Recycling over a period of 15 days as LinkedIn posts and started the project on 11th March 2020 for all those, which might be interested in this subject.

In this training we address a few key questions, which are of critical importance when discussing plastic recycling technologies in order to compare their advantages and disadvantages.

•Physical or chemical reaction?
•Dissolution or solvolysis?
•Recycling or recovery?

The aim is to clarify, that
•Physical and chemical reactions are significantly different.
•A dissolution (solvent-based purification) is neither a chemical recovery nor a solvolysis.
•Chemical recycling needs the polymerization of feedstock to be complete.
•End-of-Life Treatment Cost need to be added to or included in the price of polymers and plastic articles in order to fund plastic waste collection and sorting followed by plastic waste recycling.
•Industry needs to develop plastic articles which can be recycled by all available plastic recycling technologies.

Specialization drives technical development.
This is not possible without knowledge, especially when coping with a complex problem.

Direct Link to the Training Course: https://www.creacycle.de/de/presse-news/197-2020-04-01-basics-of-plastic-recycling-training-course.html


CreaSolv® is a registered trademark of CreaCycle GmbH

 

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About the author

Dr. Gerald Altnau

Dr. Gerald Altnau is Managing Director of CreaCycle GmbH

He studied chemistry in Berlin, Germany and joined DuPont de Nemours in 1981. In his carrier he held different roles in marketing in Luxembourg, Switzerland and Germany in the Mylar Polyester film and the Nylon business. In 1989 he moved from the PET business to Polyamides and started from scratch to build the Nylon Specialty Intermediates business in Europe by turning chemical by-products (waste) from Nylon Intermediates plants into new valuable chemicals and developed new markets for them. He grew and run this business until 2004 as Director Specialty Intermediates. In 2003 DuPont merged its Petrochemicals department with its Textiles & Interiors department and gave it the new name INVISTA. In 2004 Koch Industries acquired INVISTA and combined it with their KOSA subsidiary (Polyester business) to form the largest integrated fibers company. Dr. Altnau moved with the INVISTA business in his director role, was executive for Invista Germany and 2 plants in The Netherlands and led the company’s REACH engagement in several consortia.


In 2001 he founded with partners the CreaCycle GmbH located in Grevenbroich (Germany). Together with their cooperation partner Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging (IVV) in Freising (Germany) CreaCycle developed the CreaSolv® Process for plastic waste recycling, based on solvent-based purification (dissolution).


In 2005 Dr. Altnau founded with producers of alternative safer paint strippers the European Association for Safer Coating Removal (EASCR) in order to lobby against Dichloromethane (DCM) paint-stripper producers in the EU Commission aiming at stopping the increasing number of fatalities of decorators when using DCM strippers. In 2012 the use of DCM strippers was banned in the EU (European Union).


Dr. Altnau retired from INVISTA in 2014 and since 2017 he is Managing Director of CreaCycle.

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