PoCoPAdd is a 3-year collaborative project under the umbrella of Catalisti, spearhead cluster for chemistry and plastics. The project started in June 2020. It brings together a unique, multidisciplinary and complementary partnership of PVC application producers, PVC additive manufacturers and research partners. The partners involved are Oleon, Beaulieu International Group, Deceuninck, KU Leuven and Kaneka, with the support of VLAIO (Agentschap Innoveren en Ondernemen).
The challenge: post-consumer PVC is difficult to recycle
One of the biggest challenges of the PVC industry is to produce in a sustainable way. Consequently, the reduction, reuse and upgrade of waste material are becoming more and more important. Whereas post-industrial and post-fabrication PVC waste materials are successfully being implemented in the product chain of PVC application manufacturers, the recycling potential and use of post-consumer PVC waste is limited, due to the degree of contamination. Boosting the performance of post-consumer PVC up to the level of virgin PVC is an obvious path to increase the use of post-consumer PVC in current material production. This can be achieved by designing new additives specifically for this purpose.
The plan: to gain a better understanding
In the PoCoPAdd project, we aim to gain a deeper understanding of the effect of recycling on the composition of the PVC formulation. The systematic evaluation and understanding of the recyclate characteristics and their correlation in terms of processability and end product characteristics, will provide a toolbox for the design of new high-performing additives to boost post-consumer PVC up to the level of virgin PVC. This will increase the amount of postconsumer PVC recyclate in current and potential new high-performance products.
The goal: develop additives to boost quality and performance
PoCoPAdd’s industry partners have an extended knowledge on the processing of PVC for their applications (window profiles, wood plastic composites, Luxury Vinyl Tiles and foamed LVT). Scientific data will be generated by the research partners of KU Leuven by means of in-depth chemical and morphological characterization and fundamental rheological characterization of the PVC polymer and the additives. This knowledge will enable us, as manufacturer of PVC polymeric additives, to design new functional processing additives (internal and external lubricants) that can boost the quality and performance level of post-consumer PVC.
The endgame: to increase the amount of post-consumer PVC recyclate in current and potential new high-performance products
Updates on this project will regularly be posted on the Catalisti website.
Lieven Van Hecke,
R&D Project Manager Industrials at Oleon