Technological watch

Construction of monomer recycling plant for PET waste in Germany

Construction of monomer recycling plant for PET waste in GermanyRittec MD Carsten Eichert (left) and Leistritz MD Anton Fà¼rst (Photos: Rittect / Leistritz)A turnkey plant for the chemical recycling of 10,000 t/y PET input material is to be constructed and commissioned in the greater Braunschweig area in Germany by the end of 2021. Plant constructors Leistritz Extrusionstechnik (Nà¼rnberg / Germany; and Rittec Umwelttechnik (Là¼neburg / Germany; have converted their existing research cooperation into a strategic collaboration to this end. The companies do not yet wish to release any details of the precise location.
Leistritz is contributing primarily its high-performance extruder technology, while Rittec is making its patented â??revolPETâ? technology available. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of a research project on â??Plastics in the Environmentâ?, this technology recycles PET waste into â??products at original levelâ? through depolymerisation. With no restrictions imposed on the starting materials, this form of monomer recycling should also be able to break down multilayer packaging and opaque PET packaging into their original materials and thus fully close the resource cycle.
â??In Germany alone, with its dual recycling system, some 200,000 t of PET packaging are unable to be mechanically recycled each year and thus ends up being incinerated,â? says Rittec managing director Carsten Eichert, citing a study by the German institute for recyclability and product responsibility cyclos-HTP (Aachen; from 2017. For Europe as a whole, the volume will thus be at least 1.4m t/y. Leistritz managing director Anton Fà¼rst points out in this context that the European single-use plastics directive (EU 2019/904) calls for vigorous action. Under the terms of the directive, 90% percent of beverage bottles alone are to be collected and recycled by 2029, independently of deposit systems.
In 2019, Leistritz participated in a model factory for â??Industry 4.0â? at Johannes Kepler University Linz (Linz / Austria; under the leadership of injection moulding machinery manufacturer Engel (Schwertberg / Austria; This depicts all the processes, from production of the semi-finished products through to recycling (see of 09.07.2019). At roughly the same time, Rittec was a founding member of an industry group for the chemical recycling of PET waste organised by European industry association Petcore Europe (Brussels / Belgium;; see of 19.07.2019).13.08.2020 [245665-0]

Publication date: 13/08/2020



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.