Although mechanical recycling is the dominant technology today, it is not enough to meet the plastic industry’s growing sustainability needs. Mechanical recycling requires high-quality, clean, and sorted recycled waste, which is only a small fraction of all recycled plastic. The products of mechanical recycling often have degraded properties compared to virgin polymers. In contrast, advanced recycling can overcome impurities and break down plastic waste into raw materials, polymers, or fuels with equivalent properties to virgin material. In applications and products where mechanical recycling is insufficient, advanced recycling can bolster sustainability efforts without jeopardizing product efficiency and quality.
Advanced recycling encompasses a diverse array of technologies used to break down polymers. Methods include solvolysis and dissolution using a solvent, enzymolysis using enzymes, and pyrolysis using heat. Gasification uses heat to convert plastic into combustible gas, while depolymerization results in monomers for new plastic production. These techniques can be combined and enhanced with different additives and methods, resulting in better use of plastic waste for recycled products or energy generation.
Join us in this webinar as experts discuss their experience with advanced recycling methods. Learn from the latest research and discover the next steps from the experts leading the advanced recycling revolution.
Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Claire D. LeClaire Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Delaware