Vinyloop Ferrara SpA, the first of what supporters hope will be a network of plants around the world recycling post-consumer PVC, has started production in Ferrara, Italy.
The 10.6 million euro ($9.2 million) plant is the first to employ Solvay SA's Vinyloop process. The facility primarily will recycle post-consumer insulation material from electrical cables.
The Ferrara plant will handle PVC, rubber and polyethylene cable waste. The company plans to add a pre-treatment stage to the line in April to enable it to generate recyclate with 85 percent PVC content.
``The recycled material will be used for insulation material, calendering roofing membranes, or it can be coextruded. There are no marketing problems foreseen for the material,'' said Helmuth Leitner, international business manager for environmental affairs at Solvay in Brussels, Belgium.
The recyclate is a neutral gray color, Leitner said in a telephone interview. The unit, a joint venture owned by four companies including two Solvay units, has annual capacity of 22 million pounds.
A second Vinyloop industrial unit, designed to recycle PVC-coated tarpaulins and fabrics produced by Ferrari Textiles SA of Lyons, France, is due to be launched in France in 2004, according to Solvay. Another six projects using the technology are being studied elsewhere in Europe, Canada and Japan.
Work on the Ferrara facility, located on the former site of an old Solvin Italia PVC production plant, started in March 2001 following six months of project studies.
The project is part of a voluntary PVC industry plan to invest about $230 million in environmental-related efforts by 2010.