Südpack and Carboliq held an event on chemical recycling
publié le mardi 28 février 2023
With its cooperation partners, Südpack has prepared the way for a functioning circular economy. On 15 February, a tour of the Carboliq plant in Ennigerloh near Münster was organized. It is the only plant in fully continuous operation. A particular focus on the facts surrounding chemical recycling was done.
At Ennigerloh plant, Christian Haupts, Managing Director of Carboliq, explained the advantages of the advanced thermo-chemical process that is also called direct oiling. What Carboliq has in common with known methods of gasification and pyrolysis is that solid organic input materials (plastics and biomass) are converted into oils and gases by breaking down (cracking) their hydrocarbon chains.
What differentiates the process significantly, however, is its flexibility in terms of infeed materials, which do not have to be based on polyolefin. Thanks to its high feedstock tolerance, Carboliq is suitable for contaminated, mixed and other plastics as well as for flexible packaging and highly complex multilayer films made of several types of plastic. This means when compared to mechanical recycling, the process offers far more options because it aims to recover recyclable components by means of thermal decomposition. Another advantage is that the process requires a lower temperature of less than 400°C. As soon as the energy that is needed to run the plant is obtained from renewable sources, the Carboliq process will be fully climate neutral.
The Carboliq plant concept is – based on the use of high-caloric fractions and fully continuous operation (7,200 hours/year) – designed to provide an annual output of 10,000 tons of liquid resources per plant. The secondary raw material distributed by Carboliq under the name of CLR (Circular Liquid Resource) is similar in many of its main properties to fossil oil and the products obtained from it – which makes it a fully-fledged substitute for fossil resources. It can be processed in the existing plants of the refinery/petrochemical industry, can be mixed with fossil oils and is just as suitable for storage.
Johannes Remmele, entrepreneur and owner of the Südpack Group, provided information about the “Zero Waste” vision, about the reasons for cooperation with Carboliq and about the commitment of the family business to implementing the process as a complementary recycling technology. His credo: despite all sustainability efforts, there will continue to be materials whose structure is composed of different polymers. These structures will continue to be indispensable for many applications in the future – and are simultaneously the most material-efficient way to produce the desired functionality of packaging. Because these properties cannot be replaced with monostructures in a material-efficient manner with current technology, suitable recycling technology for these materials is necessary so that these fractions can be kept in a loop and do not have to be thermally recycled.
Moreover, Südpack is the only manufacturer of flexible films with direct access to capacities for chemical recycling. In addition, in combination with the Schwendi site where capacities for the mechanical processing of recyclables are available, Südpack is now always able to apply the technology that is the best choice in terms of environmental impact and economic profitability when closing recyclable material cycles.