FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY — German chemicals giant Hoechst AG has launched its first polyacetal feedstock recycling plant, which can produce up to 6.6 million pounds per year of repolymerized, virgin-grade material. The Ticona plant in Kelsterbach, Germany, employs a closed-loop chemical process to recycle production scrap and post-consumer parts.
In the recycling process, concentrated acids degrade the long polymer chain into monomer components, which are purified and repolymerized, according to Hoechst, based in Frankfurt am Main.
The plant started operating at the beginning of October. Hoechst developed the recycling process for POM several years ago. Hoechst produces its own brand of polyacetal, Hostaform.
A Hoechst spokesman said that around half of the polymer it produces goes into parts for the automotive sector, such as for audio speakers. Another 25 percent is devoted to applications in the electronics industry.