U.S.-based recycling specialist PureCycle Technologies LLC has completed a pilot project to recycle polypropylene carpet into ultra-pure recycled polypropylene (UPRP) resin, using its proprietary recovery technology.
PureCycle’s recycling process, developed and licensed by consumer goods company Procter & Gamble Co., separates color, odor and any other contaminants from plastic waste feedstock to convert this into UPRP resin with virgin-like properties.
The company is currently going through a growth spurt with plans to set up a European production base, and expects the successful scaling of the technology to unlock the potentials of the process for a wide range of post-consumer PP product.
“This technology will result in a substantial increase in demand for waste PP and will help to provide alternatives to landfilling and exporting plastic waste,” the company said in a Sept. 26 news release.
PureCycle currently operates a feedstock evaluation unit (FEU) at its recycling plant in Hanging Rock, Ohio.
As part of the second phase of its operation, the company will scale up the plant’s processing capacity to over 119 million pounds of PP, to produce 105 million pounds of UPRP per year. The plant start-up is scheduled for the summer of 2021.
PureCycle's virgin-like PP can be used in consumer goods packaging, home furnishings and other applications that currently have very limited recycled PP options.
The company is also working towards submitting for a letter of non-objection from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the recycled PP to be used in food grade applications.
“There is an overwhelming demand for high-quality recycled polypropylene, and this milestone is a huge step for us — and the industry — toward addressing a growing market that is demanding recycled applications,” CEO Mike Otworth, said.
“This achievement not only proves the technology at scale, but also builds on the momentum of the business as we move closer towards scaling operations beyond our first plant.”
PureCycle struck a major deal with beauty brand L’Oreal in July for the full subscription of its Ohio plant’s capacity with the option for L’Oreal to be among the first purchasers of volume out of its plant in Europe.
With the Ohio plant’s capacity sold out two years ahead of start-up, PureCycle is planning for a second plant, this time in Europe, to keep up with demand.