Plastics Technology News Alert, Mar. 05, 2020

Read news from Ineos Styrolution America, Eastman Chemical, Wittmann Battenfeld, and Nordson


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Tomra Reports Strong Polystyrene Sorting Results

Tomra technologies sort post-consumer polystyrene waste content with final product purity higher than 99.9%.

Tomra Group of Norway recently completed tests on the sortation of polystyrene (PS). With Tomra’s near-infrared (NIR) sensor technology, post-consumer plastic waste was sorted in a multi-step process including initial sorting from post-consumer waste, grinding into smaller flakes, washing, drying and flake sorting. The resulting purity of polystyrene turned out to be higher than 99.9%.

Jürgen Priesters, SVP, Circular Economy at Tomra, sees one reason for the good results is certain properties of the material: “Styrenic compounds have a unique signal that enable easy and very precise sorting, an advantage which some of the other polymers do not have.”

Tomra’s findings prove that today’s sorting technologies achieve a purity level beyond what is required to successfully recycle polystyrene through both mechanical as well as advanced recycling processes. Along with Ineos Styrolution’s investments in multiple recycling projects, this takes the company another step closer to developing closed-loop solutions for styrenics.

Tomra recently joined the Styrenics Circular Solutions (SCS), the value chain initiative to increase the circularity of styrenic polymer. 

Ineos Styrolution continues along its path to produce recycled ABS and chemically recycled polystyrene at commercial scale. The company is investing in multiple projects in Europe and in the Americas to set up recycling facilities based on the depolymerisation process.

For instance, Ineos and Agilyx out of Oregon are planning to build a PS chemical recycling facility in Channahon, Illinois. The facility will be capable of processing up to 100 tons per day of post-consumer polystyrene and converting it into a styrene product that will go into the manufacturing of new polystyrene products. 

“These findings on polystyrene sorting makes styrenics a material of choice for a circular economy and confirms our statement that styrenics are made for recycling like no other,” says Sven Riechers, Vice President, Business Management, Standard Products EMEA at Ineos Styrolution.

recycling of PS graphic

Showcasing a closed-loop solution for styrenics.

Eastman to Produce Acetate Flake Made from Biobased and Recycled Content

Eastman’s Acetate Renew is a cellulose diacetate composed of 60% biobased and 40% certified recycled content. 

Eastman will provide its Acetate Renew, a cellulose diacetate composed of 60% biobased and 40% certified recycled content to Mazzucchelli 1849, a provider in the manufacturing and distribution of acetate sheet for premium eyewear.

Made through Eastman's carbon renewal chemical recycling technology, Acetate Renew reportedly offers virgin-material performance, incorporates significant amounts of certified recycled content from eyewear production scrap, and results in a significant reduction in greenhouse gases when compared to the traditional manufacturing process.

Mazzucchelli is providing acetate scrap to Eastman for use in carbon renewal. Eastman will soon begin collecting and recycling scrap at scale from eyewear manufacturers for conversion into new material. Eastman is now producing Acetate Renew, and Mazzucchelli expects to have sheet made from this material commercially available before the end of Q2.

Carbon renewal technology is a chemical recycling process combining mixed waste plastics with heat, pressure and steam to generate syngas—carbon and hydrogen atoms—for use as building blocks to produce a variety of circular products containing high levels of recycled content without compromising quality. Eastman produces biobased and certified recycled content using mass balance allocation. Acetate scrap from Mazzucchelli and certified frame manufacturers will be returned to Eastman to be converted into new acetate flake using chemical recycling technology.

The recycled content in Acetate Renew will be certified using the mass balance approach through International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) audits across the value chain. Mazzucchelli has begun the ISCC process with ICIM s.p.a. Italy in preparation for commercialization.

acetate sheet made from Eastman Acetate Renew

Mazzucchelli will produce and sell acetate sheet made from Eastman Acetate Renew, a cellulose diacetate composed of 60% biobased and 40% certified recycled content. 

Betts Retires from Wittmann Battenfeld

Working in plastics for more than 40 years, Tom Betts announced his retirement from Wittmann Battenfeld. 

Tom Betts, who most recently worked in Michigan as a regional sales manager of injection molding machinery for Wittmann Battenfeld, has announced his retirement. Betts worked for more than 30 years for the Wittmann Battenfeld organization and has been in the plastics industry for more than 40 years. 

Betts was also active in the Society of Plastics Engineers and the Plastics Industry Association, where he was active with both the Machinery Division and the former Structural Plastics Division. 

As a speaker at various industry events, Betts also delivered more than 30 papers on numerous topics, including co-injection, gas-assist molding, thermoset processing, liquid silicone rubber molding, micro-molding, physical foaming and automation. 

Tom Betts Wittmann Battenfeld


Pictured from left to right—David Sharp, Wittmann Battenfeld Operations Manager - IMM; Sonny Morneault, Wittmann Battenfeld VP-Sales; Tom Betts, and David Preusse, Wittmann Battenfeld President. “We have been lucky to have Tom on our team for many years, and we wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement,” Preusse said in a release.  

Nordson Opens Pelletizing, Melt-Delivery Lab in N.C.

Lab has pelletizing line that can operate at rates to 1000 lb/hr.

Nordson Corp. has cut the ribbon on what it calls an extensively equipped process laboratory to serve the Americas market for pelletizing systems and melt delivery equipment.

Installed at an existing Nordson facility in Hickory, N.C., the new laboratory has a pelletizing line with throughput capacity up to 1000 lb/hr. The line includes a twin screw extruder, BKG pelletizer, Optigon self-cleaning process water and pellet drying system, and jet cleaner for removing polymer residue from die plates. Both underwater and water ring pelletizers are available for testing. Melt delivery components include three HiCon screen changers (backflush, continuous, and discontinuous types), a BlueFlow gear pump, and a HyFlex diverter valve. For evaluating materials to be processed, the facility also provides rheological analysis.

Nordson Opens Lab in North Carolina

“The new BKG technical center is the latest example of Nordson’s global commitment to support the needs of customers and prospects with local, state-of-the-art laboratories,” notes Kevin Tuttle, business director for the Americas. “The move is part of our company’s overall strategy for business growth and our continued investment in the BKG Americas business.”

The laboratory enables existing and prospective customers to see BKG systems in operation for comparison with competing products, evaluate new formulations, carry on application development, and train equipment operators.

“The new Nordson BKG laboratory at Hickory enables customers and prospects to do application development and test runs without sacrificing productivity in their own plants,” adds Merritt Christian, market development manager. “Use of the laboratory is available on a rental basis, and processors can test new technologies in the strictest confidence. When required, Nordson will sign a non-disclosure agreement.”

Underwater Pelletizing Line at Nordson

Nordson operates process laboratories in Europe, the United States, and Asia, including BKG laboratories in Münster, Germany, Shanghai, China, and Chonburi, Thailand. “The new BKG laboratory in Hickory is Nordson’s first in the Americas, supporting the rapid growth in this region for our pelletizing and melt delivery systems,” states Tuttle.