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Coperion ZSK twin screw extruders provide very good devolatilization with short residence times in the process section as well as very high dispersion, contributing significantly to high end product quality. (Photo credit: Coperion)

Screw extruders

Coperion: from PET flakes to granules without pre-drying

Stuttgart, Germany

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a high-value material that is on course to take over a key function in the plastics industry’s path toward a circular economy. PET flakes can now be processed without pre-drying into pellets using Coperion ZSK twin screw extruders. Next they are condensed in the SSP (Solid State Polycondensation) reactor, and reprocessed back into bottles again with the quality of virgin material.

PET recyclate manufactured using this innovative process has received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for food-contact uses. Thanks to the highly efficient plastification within the ZSK extruder, Coperion systems for this bottle-to-bottle recycling process achieve throughput rates between 2 and 8 tons per hour, therefore recycling companies profit from very high product quality, reduced operating and logistic expenses as well as from energy cost savings up to 30% in comparison to conventional PET recycling methods.

Bottle-to-Bottle Recycling Now Clearly More Efficient

PET plays an ever more important role in recycling, due to the large volume of packaging materials in use today. PET is a very high-value material, possessing extremely good properties for reprocessing. Its continuously expanding use in single- and reusable bottles, as well as its recovery via deposit systems, add to its value. Correspondingly, it can be lucrative for companies to focus on PET recycling.

Before PET can be reprocessed, it must first be shredded to flakes and then cleaned. Ordinary technologies require pre-drying, crystallization or agglomeration of the PET flakes following washing. However, using the specialized technology from Coperion, the shredded PET can be fed directly into the ZSK twin screw extruder and compounded.

 

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