With the opening of its new CycleWorks facility in Pogliano, Italy, Avient Corp. aims to promote and generate a greater understanding of the chemistry of polymers in the mechanical recycling process and to further its viability.
The new lab and plant will conduct chemistry testing and evaluations to help customers tackle the challenge of plastics recycling and move forward towards the goal of a circular economy. The demonstration plant mimics real-world recycling conditions in a research environment.
The new facility also includes a collaboration platform, to ensure input from across the plastics value chain. Avient, formerly called PolyOne, expects this to improve the ability of new technologies to be implemented in recycling processes and to assist brand owners in raising the sustainability of their products.
“This high-tech facility will allow our dedicated team to understand the chemistry of polymers in the mechanical recycling process, and to see how and where problems occur. For example, why and where are polymer chains degrading? What role do color and additives play in recyclability?” Jan Sültemeyer, global head of innovation and sustainability at Avient, said. “It is our goal to find answers to these questions and to understand the science behind recycling.”
CycleWorks has already started producing useful data. This data will be used to develop new masterbatch formulations with proven science behind how they perform during recycling processes. This will allow Avient to develop a portfolio that has been essentially field tested for recycling. Avient expects to introduce solutions throughout 2021 as new data is generated.
“As one of the founding members of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, Avient is committed to doing our part in advancing a circular economy through partnerships and innovation,” said Walter Ripple, vice president of sustainability at Avient.
“CycleWorks further strengthens our recycling focus and ability to enable our partners’ recyclability goals.”