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Thermal decontamination in a vacuum reactor with integrated nitrogen flushing for PET


Technology Description

This process produces new food-grade bottles from used bottles through a melting and decontamination process in a reactor. Moisture is removed from PET flakes under vacuum conditions, and nitrogen flushing to reduce colouration. Heat causes the polymer structure to open, enabling removal of contaminants and internal moisture. Pellets are then formed in a centrifuge, then undergo solid state polycondensation, before being extruded into new plastic.

Relevance for Net Zero

Improved recycling would help reduce the need for virgin production and can reduce downcycling in which a material is recycled into a lower value end. However, behavioural barriers also need to be overcome to increase plastics collection rates, and secondary production is unlikely to ever fully replace the need for primary production.

Key Countries

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