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‘Up-cycling’ perfluorinated polymers

By Gerald Ondrey |

At the end of March, Dyneon GmbH (Burgkirchen, Germany) — a fully owned subsidiary of 3M Co. (www.3m.com) — together with its cooperating partners, the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, the University of Bayreuth and the institute InVerTec, opened the world’s first fluoropolymer “up-cycling” facility in Burgkirchen, Germany. The new pilot plant can up-cycle up to 500 ton/yr of fluoropolymer waste. The new pilot plant integrates seamlessly onsite into Dyneon’s existing fluoropolymer-production lines, and employs pyrolysis to decompose perfluorinated polymers, recovering gaseous monomers, which are cleaned prior to feeding them back into the manufacturing process for new materials. The plant will process fully fluorinated polymers, such as PTFE, PFA and FEP, but a second phase will target polymer compounds containing fillers. The project was funded with a €1 million grant from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU; Berlin).
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