PT Blog

We report often about additive manufacturing and its opportunities for processors in the market. While AM continues to evolve into production, there is much to consider beyond manufacturing parts. 

Additive Manufacturing Media, our sister publication, takes a closer look at how successfully implementing AM demands simultaneous change across five different parts of the business:

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INEOS Styrolution joins other resin suppliers on whom we have recently reported, including Eastman Chemical and Braskem, that are aiming to reduce post-consumer waste via chemical recycling. More specifically, recently completed lab-scale quantity of general-purpose polystyrene produced from 100% recycled styrene monomer by the company in Antwerp, Belgium, is said to signal a ‘game changer’ in PS production.

The material is the result of experimental PS production runs with styrene monomer feedstock produced from depolymerization of styrenic plastic. The tests—done in cooperation with commercial partners and universities—resulted in the production of virgin material with the same product properties as polystyrene produced from new styrene monomers. Commented global R&D expert Michiel Verswyvel, “We are very excited having achieved this breakthrough. Due to its relatively clean decomposition into its building blocks, polystyrene is almost designed to be recycled. Within our global project team, we are working to make this a stable process on a commercial level, by learning for example more about purity requirements of the feedstock material.”

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Last month, I reported on two companies that are pursuing chemical recycling technologies that will contribute to the ‘circular economy’ and sustainable development: Braskem, which is aiming to accelerate the development of chemical recycling of consumer waste products such as grocery bags and packaging films; and, Eastman Chemical, which announced the launch of an advanced circular recycling technology that uses polyester waste which cannot be recycled by current mechanical methods. The latter’s goal is to be operating a full-scale, advanced circular recycling facility within 24 to 36 months.

Now, Eastman has unveiled the introduction of a new innovation: ‘carbon renewal technology’ reportedly capable of recycling some of the most complex plastic waste, including non-polyester plastics and mixed plastics that cannot be recycled with conventional recycling technologies. With this new recycling technology, materials such as flexible packaging and plastic films, among others, can be diverted from landfills and converted into building blocks for downstream chemical production.

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