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Depolymerization Last month, DuPont Teijin Films Ltd. (DTF; Contern, Luxembourg;…
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Chementator Briefs

By Edited by Gerald Ondrey |

Depolymerization

Last month, DuPont Teijin Films Ltd. (DTF; Contern, Luxembourg; www.dupontteijinfilms.com) launched its new LuxCR depolymerization process, which upcycles post-consumer waste into a variety of biaxially oriented polyethylene terephthalate (BOPET) films. The LuxCR process depolymerizes mechanically recovered PET flake back into the monomer unit bis(2-hydroxyethylterephthalate) (BHET), which is chemically indistinguishable from virgin monomer. This base monomer is then repolymerized into a polyester polymer that is subsequently converted into a wide range of BOPET films. Contamination is removed during the process through a combination of monomer and polymer filtration units and by vacuum extraction which runs for several hours at temperatures between 270 and 300°C.

 Initial commercial launches are planned in Q2 of 2019 across a range of packaging formats and will include high-temperature food-contact applications, such as ready-meal lidding and ovenable flow-wrap structures. Although the initial focus for the LuxCR process is to provide a feedstock to DTF’s own film-manufacturing lines, feasibility studies are underway to see if the scope can be extended to include the external sale of polymer, which would open up the technology to applications such as PET bottles and trays.

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