ROCKVILLE, MD. - Antaeus Group of Rockville has developed a process it says not only will regrind, but remove paint from automotive bumpers made with thermoplastic polyolefins at a cost less than the car manufacturer pays for the virgin material. Sanford A. Glazer, Antaeus chairman, said if 10 million cars could be recycled in a year and each car contains 20 pounds of TPO, some 180 million pounds of automotive TPO could be diverted from landfills.
Glazer said Antaeus' system features a steam-pressure vessel in which plastics are placed in superheated water under high pressure. Sterilized wastes are run to a collecting vessel through a pipe containing a sharp-edged rotating macerator, run by a 20-horsepower electric motor.
His firm ``stumbled'' onto what it now claims is an effective means of removing up to four layers of paint from plastic automotive bumpers; stumbled, Glazer said, because the company's original purpose was to develop a quick, effective and safe means of sterilizing and disposing of hazardous medical wastes.
Glazer said he predicts his process will produce reusable plastic from TPO bumpers at a cost lower than virgin TPO - currently about 90 cents per pound.