What is LIFE EXTRUCLEAN project about?
LIFE EXTRUCLEAN project aims to demonstrate the viability of the implementation of the supercritical fluids extraction (SFE) technology, in the extrusion process involved in plastics recycling, leading to a recycled material free of hazardous contaminants and a recycling process with improved efficiency, in comparison with the current technology, for hazardous plastic waste (reduced number of washing & drying stages involved, less energy and resources consumption, less effluents to manage).
LIFE EXTRUCLEAN focuses on plastic packages that have contained dangerous substances, and therefore they become hazardous waste after use. The generally accepted method to eliminate the danger of a hazardous container is its emptied, the triple rinsing and draining. This method is online applied in the recycling of dangerous plastic packaging. In the line the packages gets a prerinse, are grinded in smaller pieces and cleaned by a series of washes (with different washing agents, detergents or surfactants) and subsequent rinsing and drying. After drying the material, it can be processed through an extrusion line, getting a recycled material in pellet form. Nevertheless this recycled material show lower mechanical properties when compared to virgin grades. So, this process is characterized by a high water consumption, high consumption of cleaning agents, high energy consumption and high production of wastewater.
LIFE EXTRUCLEAN process will allow a considerable reduction of these waste flows, so lowering the environmental impact of the process and reaching at least the same efficacy in the hazardous character of the recycled material.