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SU is supporting ISOPREP’s journey from lab to pilot plant

Mon, 16 May, 2022

Sabanci University - Integrated Manufacturing Technologies Research and Application Center (SU-IMC) is highly ambitious to develop a novel solvent-based recycling technology which provides virgin-like polypropylene from carpet waste under ISOPREP project thereby paving the way for a circular economy where polypropylene is used in a closed-loop manner. Up to now, SU-IMC has carried out the characterization of the waste carpets, supported pre-process development activities, developed the recycling method in the laboratory and scaled up the recycling method to TRL5 (sub-pilot). Recently, SU-IMC has conducted research on the determination of residual heavy metals and other impurities along the applied process stages to support Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), safe disposal of process wastes and PP product quality. Currently, SU-IMC is supporting the ISOPREP consortium members Floteks and TWI on the design and construction of the pilot plant.

SU-IMC, within the scope of the ISOPREP project, comprehensively analysed the constituents of the waste carpets supplied by the ISOPREP consortium member Axion to evaluate their usability in the ISOPREP recycling process. SU-MIC investigated the necessity and efficiency of some pre-processes such as shredding, granulation, pulverization, and density separation, to ensure the effective preparation of multi-component waste carpet feedstock prior to an efficient solvent-based recycling process. The solvent-based chemical process was carried in the laboratory using 200 ml ionic liquid to optimize the recycling process parameters. The process then was scaled up to 35-liter capacity sub-pilot system to provide proof-of-concept and support design and development of the pilot solvent-based recycling plant.