Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Axion Trials Show Carpet Recycling Potential

Trials by Axion Consulting have shown waste polypropylene carpets can be recycled into good quality polymer pellet for re-use in new applications such as injection-moulded products. According to Axion, the findings could stimulate the UK's fledgling carpet recycling industry and develop new markets for PP recyclate with associated environmental and economic benefits.

The project was initiated by Carpet Recycling UK, which secured funding to investigate recycling options for post-consumer carpets and possible new end-use markets for PP products made from recovered material. Processing stages involved size reduction, screening and extrusion.

Tests showed that while post-industrial extruded polymer had potential for use in a range of applications including injection moulding, further work was needed to verify its suitability. Post-consumer material could be recycled for medium- to lower-grade applications such as plant pots, compost bins or buckets.

Axion's demonstration trials and laboratory tests at its Salford plant concluded that while the economics of the recycling process 'look promising', the next steps would require large-scale trials to assess commercial viability. The company also found that correct identification and segregation of post-consumer carpets into an entirely PP fraction is critical to the viability of a commercial process to recycle carpets. Mixed-polymer carpet material is not suitable for extrusion, so their end market is still likely to be other applications.

No comments: