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Chemical Engineering MagazineChementator Briefs
PET recycling Last month, Unilever N.V. (Rotterdam, the Netherlands.; www.unilever.com)…
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Chementator Briefs

By Edited by Gerald Ondrey |

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PET recycling

Last month, Unilever N.V. (Rotterdam, the Netherlands.; www.unilever.com) announced a partnership with start-up company Ioniqa Technologies B.V. (Eindhoven, the Netherlands; www.ioniqa.com) and the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin producer Indorama Ventures plc (Bangkok, Thailand; www.indoramaventures.com) to pioneer a new technology that converts PET waste back into virgin-grade material for use in food packaging.

Ioniqa, a spin-off from the Eindhoven University of Technology (the Netherlands), has developed a proprietary technology that is able to convert any PET waste — including colored packs — back into transparent virgin grade material (Chem. Eng., January 2016, p. 7; www.chemengonline.com/chementator-briefs-14). The technology has successfully passed its pilot stage and is now moving toward testing at an industrial scale.

PET is widely used to produce plastic packaging, yet worldwide only around 20% of this material makes its way to recycling plants, with the rest either incinerated, disposed of in landfills or leaked into the natural environment. The partners aim to tackle this challenge. If proven successful at industrial scale, in the future, it will be possible to convert all PET back into food-grade packaging.

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