Chemical recycling of plastics

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Newsletter 01/2020

© Fraunhofer UMSICHT
Chemical recycling of plastics

How can highly contaminated and problematic plastic waste be recycled? A thermochemical process (pyrolysis) for the recovery of basic chemicals is now being qualified for chemical recycling in the CCPE technical center. The aim is to produce plastics in virgin material quality.

The focus is on composite materials that are difficult to recycle, e.g. CFRP and GFRP (wind turbines, rotor blades), thermosetting plastics, resins or residues from the processing of electronic scrap (e.g. circuit boards) and end-of-life vehicles (e.g. brake linings or air filters). Due to a lack of alternatives, these material flows are currently being diverted to thermal recycling. In the CCPE laboratory, depolymerization is used to produce a styrene concentrate from glass fiber-reinforced plastic waste, which can be polymerized again to form polystyrene. From circuit boards first phenol-rich