Discover the 25 polymer waste recycling projects funded by POLREC

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Discover the 25 polymer waste recycling projects funded by POLREC

The first call for projects launched as part of the European POLREC project coordinated by Polymeris rewarded 25 polymer waste recycling projects submitted by European SMEs, including 9 French ones. The aim of the call was to fund new, innovative polymer recycling processes, with a total budget of €660,00.
Of the 25 projects rewarded, 13 focused on mechanical recycling, 8 on chemical recycling and 4 on digitization. Find out more about the funded projects and their ambitions below.

Les projets POLREC de recyclage chimique des déchets polymères :

  • ECOLLANT - chemical recycling of nylon from tights in a circular loop

On average, tights are made from 85% nylon (polyamide - PA66) and 15% elastane (polyurethane - PU). The aim of French SME ECOLLANT is to recycle non-recyclable textiles at the end of their life cycle into new textiles using innovative processes developed in the laboratory. Two routes are currently being explored: A chemical route using clean solvents, and an enzymatic route.

  • RePlastify - Development and optimisation of pyrolysis for the valorisation of the complex polymeric rejected waste

French SME MACHAON SAS is partnering the Spanish technology center CETIM in the RePlastify project, which aims to achieve "zero waste" in the recycling of post-consumer plastic waste, by recovering complex polymeric rejects from low-density polyethylene (LDPE) mechanical recycling plants. The project aims to recover the fraction of LDPE and LLDPE waste that cannot currently be processed, thereby reducing the amount of waste that ends up in incineration or landfill by 0.68 million tonnes.

  • QEV TECHNOLOGIES - Recycling of competition cars and manufacture of parts for luxury cars

Spanish SME QEV TECHNOLOGIES is testing the R3FIBER process developed by service provider BCIRCULAR, which is based on the thermochemical treatment of waste carbon fiber composites. In a first phase, the composites are pyrolyzed in the reactor by applying different heat cycles at a certain temperature. This is followed by a second cleaning phase, which produces high-quality, resin-free recycled fibers.

  • Chemical recycling of polyolefins to obtain high value-added dicarboxylic acids

Spanish SME Jose Combalia aims to increase the quantity and type of materials recycled from existing elastomer residues from crown coating waste to include the rest of the polyolefin family (PE and PP). Service provider ONYRIQ has developed a new chemical recycling technology: CYCLOPS, a more economical, scalable and sustainable method of chemically upcycling polyolefins, capable of producing high value-added goods such as dicarboxylic acids.

  • Chemical recycling of dry electrolytes

Spanish SME DLYTES CHEMICALS aims to regenerate solid electrolytes by testing and developing DLyte® technology, an electropolishing process involving the selective removal of metal ions from the metal surfaces to be polished. These ions are captured by the particles that make up the dry electrolyte. After several hours of use, these particles become saturated and need to be replaced. Currently, these saturated electrolytes are managed as waste and must be sent to an authorized waste manager, in accordance with the regulations in force in each country. This project will be developed with the support of service provider E. BACHILLER B., S.A.

  • IMDEX - Recycling of End-of-Life Tires (ELTs) in collaboration with suppliers, service-provider, and end-users

Led by Danish SME IMDEX and in partnership with service provider Waste2Value ApS, this project aims to avoid the incineration of the 45,000 tonnes of ELT waste generated in Denmark every year, by testing an end-of-life tire pyrolysis technology developed by Waste2Value.

  • AGON – Circular lifting slings

Portuguese SME AGON aims to collect used medical slings for processing by service provider Textile Change using its 5-step solvent-based chemical recycling method. The expected outcome is to verify that Textile Change can manufacture recycled polyester from the used polyester slings, and that the recycled material meets all the quality parameters for use in the manufacture of new polyester slings.

  • Tex2Tex's Cutting-Edge Green Solution - Elastane Dissolution in Advanced Polyester Recycling

Led by Portuguese SME Earth Protex, this project focuses on the treatment of textile waste derived from polyester and spandex fabrics. The process used will be thermomechanical reactor recycling. Unlike chemical depolymerization, which requires subsequent polymerization, this is a purely physical dissolution process, which will be developed with the support of ITA Technologietransfer GmbH.

Les projets POLREC de recyclage mécanique des déchets de polymères:

  • Recyouest – PCE monofilament Feasibility

Led by French SME Recyouest, with support from IFTH as service provider, this project aims to validate the feasibility of knitting open-mesh HDPE bags to avoid the use of single-use plastic bags when collecting agricultural round bale nets. Once the study is complete, it will be possible to envisage infinite isofunction recycling (reuse of a material in its original application) of collection bags from the agricultural supply industry.

  • GAVIPLAS - Ink Removal Technology as Novel Technology for food contact applications

Spanish SME Gaviplas, with the support of service provider CADEL RECYCLING LAB, is to develop a new plastics recycling technology based on the removal of surface-printed ink and other contaminants from plastics using a closed-circuit, water-based decontamination process. The expected result is a plastic material free of ink and other contaminants, whose quality enables it to be used in food contact applications.

  • ALTHEORA – New recycled composite material

French SME ALTHEORA, with the support of service provider Mob-e-Scrap, intends to recycle end-of-life composite cabinets used to carry 220 V electricity, drinking water or domestic gas to houses, apartments or factories. These composite cabinets are made from SMC (polyester/fiberglass and additives). Today, almost all of these composite cabinets are landfilled after dismantling. The aim is to obtain a new composite material (containing at least 30% recycled content), which can be processed using existing molding facilities.

  • OSTIUM Group - Circular recycling loop for thermoplastic composite surgical instruments

French SME OSTIUM Group has set itself the goal of mechanically recycling its Ixef® PARA surgical instruments, with the support of Cosmolys, a specialist in the mechanical recycling of infectious healthcare waste, and Solvay, a specialist in the production and supply of high-performance polymers. This composite, composed of a thermoplastic resin (Polyarylamide) and a mechanical reinforcement filled with 50% glass fibers, is not currently recycled and represents a technological challenge in terms of mechanical grinding.

  • CAMY SAS – closed loop recycling of expanded EVA footwear from hospital activity

French start-up CAMY SAS, with the support of service provider Inno-Inside, aims to demonstrate the full circularity of expanded EVA recycled material for the injection molding of new HODEI shoes containing up to 100% recycled EVA. It is carrying out this project in partnership with ASIAN Industry, BOTEMO, the Centre Technique du Cuir and the Paris hospitals Nerver and Necker as end-users.

  • Tex2Tex FAASST Transformation: Revolutionizing Recycled Synthetic Textiles with Sustainable Surface Treatments

Portuguese SME Earth Protex, with the support of Spanish technology center LEITAT, intends to develop a surface treatment that improves mechanical properties and reduces the release of microplastics in rPET fabrics (100% and/or blends). New hydrophilic and dyeability-enhancing properties are to be introduced during the course of the project.

  • SPORTS CARBONE - Recycling of carbon fiber sports equipment

French SME SPORTS CARBONE aims to develop a carbon fiber bike recycling solution with the support of NOVA CARBON. Carbon fiber sports equipment that cannot be repaired currently has no suitable recycling solution. Two treatment options will be explored: chemical/mechanical via solvolysis and carbon fiber realignment, and thermal/mechanical via vapotermolysis and carbon fiber realignment.

  • Rezero - recycling of filters from cigarette industry

Irish SME Rezero aims to recycle cigarette filters made from cellulose acetate (CA), a natural polymer derived from cellulose (wood), with the support of CETI (Center for European textile innovation). The filters are separated from unused or defective cigarettes. The aim is to manufacture valuable finished products using the fiber in its isolated form, rather than using energy and chemicals to convert it into granules and objects made from it.

  • José Combalía - Polyethylene in the Loop. All for crown cork process

Spanish SME Jose Combalia uses a mechanical recycling solution to obtain recycled polyethylene film from crown cork waste for soft drinks packaging. The aim is to achieve total waste management and reincorporation into the process, so as to achieve zero waste. The project will be developed with the support of Spain's National Center for Packaging Technology.

  • Total Plastic Solution - Transition to a Circular Economy

Irish SME Total Plastic Solution, with support from service provider Applied Polymer Technologies, aims to investigate the effects of adding recycled materials to their current materials, and the effects of different recycled materials on the properties of the final product. The project will process different volumes of recycled PC/ABS with virgin materials to study the effect of the recyclates on material and end-product properties. In addition, the recycling of wet PP powder will be examined.

  • BERBETORES INDUSTRIAL – Innovation approach to the  Development of addive manufacturing BAAM process by recycling and integration of ABS & HDPE scrap

Spanish SME BERBETORES INDUSTRIAL is developing a project to recycle waste generated during the company's thermoforming processes involving two types of polymer: ABS and HDPE. By adapting the additive manufacturing process to large-scale production, the company will be able to offer products a second life. The company will be supported in this project by the Spanish technology center Fundación IDONIAL.

  • PDC-Plast: Production of component in recycled plastics

Danish SME PCD-Plast wants to test solutions for recycling and incorporating recycled material into the TPU-based golf discs it produces. The main obstacle currently preventing the manufacture of the product from recycled material is the adhesion of plastics to molding tools. However, with an ideal surface coating, the demolding problems associated with material adhesion can be considerably reduced. This solution will be explored in collaboration with service provider CemeCon, who will coat the molds with a physical vapor-phase coating.

  • Mälarplast – Maximizing sustainability by recycling bioplastics

Swedish SME Mälarplast is looking to incorporate recycled PLA materials into its bioplastic phone cases, and to resolve the high levels of mold tool wear caused by fibers during the manufacture of this product. In partnership with CemeCon Scandinavia A/S, this project aims to solve these problems by coating the molding tools with a physical vapor deposition (PVD) coating.

Les projets POLREC de solution numérique pour le recyclage des polymères :

  • RTWIN Empower recycling with AI automation

French SME Revival, in collaboration with PHD Talent, is leading this project to digitize the recycling of materials from elastomeric footwear waste, in order to improve the traceability of materials and encourage comparison of the performance of different recycling channels. The project will enable the development of an intuitive tracking tool enabling customers to monitor their deposits in real time, and to structure data assets to enhance the effective use of this data in companies' recycling strategies.

  • Ostrium Group – Aplication to trace Circular Recycling loop for thermoplastic composite surgical instruments

French SME OSTIUM Group aims to develop an application for the collection and traceability of polymer waste from healthcare establishments, with the support of service provider WESTCODE DEVELOPMENT. In particular, the application will enable kits to be identified by a unique number, then sorted by material type and recycled.

  • Maxiplás – Recycling Towards Sustainability

Portuguese SME Maxiplas, working in partnership with NLS - New Link Solutions, is digitizing a shredding process to ensure traceability, management and data tracking of waste from injection molding processes. The project aims to reduce waste, improve recycling methods and introduce a new software solution to the market.

  • GAVIPLAS – New intelligent technology for quality control of recycled plastics

Spanish SME GAVIPLAS aims to design an intelligent algorithm that classifies analytical data from recycled plastics. The expected outcome at the end of the project is a cutting-edge technological solution which, fed by analytical data from various tests and images carried out on the plastic, will be able to determine the quality of the recycled material. This solution will be developed with the support of service provider CADEL RECYCLING LAB, SL.



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