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Issue 06/2021

  • Text
  • Cellulose
  • Bags
  • Flexibles
  • Films
  • Coatings
  • Co2
  • Wwwbioplasticsmagazinecom
  • Packaging
  • Sustainable
  • Products
  • Renewable
  • Recycling
  • Carbon
  • Biobased
  • Plastics
  • Materials
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Coating Films, Flexibles, Bags Basics: Cellulose based bioplastics

Recycling By: Fig. 2:

Recycling By: Fig. 2: small scarf containing 50 % Recycled PAN S. Schonauer & T. Gries Institute of Textile Technology, RWTH Aachen University Aachen, Germany Upcycling process for PAN from textile waste Most synthetic fibres are made from fossil material sources. Since these are only available in finite quantities and their use is not always compatible with today’s environmental goals, it is necessary to develop an innovative recycling process and close material cycles. Currently, polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-containing waste from production and end-of-use waste is sent for thermal waste treatment, used as a filler, or processed into lowvalue blended yarns. Although energy recovery is possible, incineration also releases harmful emissions, and the material can no longer be fed into a cycle. [1] At ITA of RWTH Aachen University, approaches to the chemical recycling of PAN fibres are being pursued under the project name industrial RePAN, as a step towards closed-loop economy. The technical feasibility along the entire process chain from polymer recovery and fibre production up until the finished product (blankets) is being mapped. Assuming that newly acquired products replace old textiles, around 24,500 tonnes of end-of-use waste is annually generated in the house and home textiles sector in Germany. Even if only half of this waste could be recycled, it would offer 12,250 tonnes of new resources. During the production of PAN staple fibres, about 1 % by weight, and additionally during processing up to 10 % by weight, of fibre materials are generated as production waste [2, 3]. This type of waste served as a secondary raw material source for these research trials. The individual stages of the process are presented in Figure 1, starting with the collection of textile waste from the blanket production. The waste is dissolved in DMSO (dimethyl sulphoxide) and chemically precipitated to produce RePAN-pellets. During the preparation of the spinning solution, RePANpellets are mixed with new PAN-powder to equal parts, resulting in a 50 %- RePAN solution. These fibres with 50 % recycled material could be spun into yarns that could meet the same requirements as virgin material. These characteristics of the produced RePAN fibres therefore, lead to the assumption that an industrial feasibility of recycled fibres is possible. The scientists are now proofing the processability of the yarns and upscale to semi-industrial scale. Figure 2 shows a product using RePAN fibres. [1] Gries, T.: Fibre-tables based on P.-A. Koch, Polyacrylic fibres, 6. Issue, 2002 [2] Herbert, C. (Research and development at Dralon GmbH): Interview, 25.05.2016 [3] Rensmann, R. (managing director of Hermann Biederlack GmbH + Co KG): Interview, 25.05.2016 Fig. 1: Recycling process from waste to new yarn Textile waste RePAN-pellets Spinning solution Staple fibres 32 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16

Patent situation Europe and USA are leading innovation in plastic recycling and alternative plastics globally, patent data shows Report From a global perspective, Europe and the USA are leading innovation in plastic recycling and alternative plastics technologies, i.e. renewable carbon plastics, a new study published in October by the European Patent Office (EPO, headquartered in Munich, Germany) shows. Europe and the USA each accounted for 30 % of patenting activity worldwide in these sectors between 2010 and 2019, or 60 % combined. Within Europe, Germany posted the highest share of patent activity in both plastic recycling and bioplastic technologies (8 % of global total), while France, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium stand out for their higher specialisation in these fields. Titled Patents for tomorrow’s plastics: Global innovation trends in recycling, circular design and alternative sources [1], the study presents a comprehensive analysis of the innovation trends for the period 2010 to 2019 that are driving the transition to a circular economy for plastics. The report looks at the number of international patent families (IPFs), each of which represents an invention for which patent applications have been filed at two or more patent offices worldwide (so-called high-value inventions). It aims to provide a guide for business leaders and policymakers to direct resources towards promising technologies, to assess their comparative advantage at different stages of the value chain, and to highlight innovative companies and institutions that could contribute to long-term sustainable growth. Chemical and biological recycling methods with the highest number of patents The study highlights that of all recycling technologies, the fields of chemical and biological recycling methods generated the highest level of patenting activity in the period under review. These methods accounted for 9,000 IPFs in 2010–19, double the number filed for mechanical recycling (4,500 IPFs). While the patenting of standard chemical methods (such as cracking and pyrolysis) reached a peak in 2014, emerging technologies such as biological methods using living organisms (1,500 IPFs) or plastic-to-monomer recycling (2,300 IPFs) now offer new possibilities to degrade polymers and produce virgin-like plastics. Healthcare and cosmetics & detergent industries lead in bioplastic innovation In the area of bioplastic inventions, the study finds that the healthcare sector has by far the most patenting activity in total (more than 19,000 IPFs in 2010–19), despite accounting for less than 3 % of the total demand for plastics in Europe. However, the cosmetics and detergents sector has the largest share of its patenting activity in bioplastics, with the ratio of bioplastics IPFs to conventional plastics IPFs being 1:3, compared to 1:5 in the healthcare sector. Packaging, electronics and textiles are also significant contributors to innovation in bioplastics. CO 2 based plastics Finally, with regard to alternative plastics technologies, the report also looks at the role of plastics production from CO 2 , which has been launched by a small number of companies, mainly from Europe – such as Covestro in Germany – and South Korea and can play an important role on the road to the circular economy. MT [1] Patents for tomorrow’s plastics: Global innovation trends in recycling, circular design and alternative sources; Download from Source: European Patent Office bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/21] Vol. 16 33

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