Polyester waste embarks on Poseidon adventure

A UK-based waste polyester recycling company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement with DuPont Teijin Films (DTF) to develop the former’s recycling technology and target the construction of a 10,000-tonne per year facility.

Poseidon Plastics, which is also a co-developer of a monomer recycling technology that converts polyester waste to recycled raw material (BHET) to produce virgin PET, had previously operated the said technology at 1,000 tonnes per year scale. The second-generation platform (Poseidon Process) will ramp this up ten-fold.

The ‘Poseidon Process’ is focussed on recycling problematic waste streams such as trays, pots, containers, fibres/fabrics and all types of polyester composites into consumer grade (r)BHET. Poseidon’s 10,000 tonnes per year facility will start detailed engineering design at the site in the first quarter of 2020.

As part of this agreement, DTF will support Poseidon with a range of testing and processing of BHET into PET polymer and BOPET films, as well as helping Poseidon navigate the regulatory and legislative standards surrounding the industry. Poseidon Plastics, with the help of DTF, intends to construct and operate the 10,000-tonne facility within 18 months at its Teesside base.

A 50,0000-tonne facility will be designed for subsequent global licensing to support larger scale facilities.

Martin Atkins, chief executive of Poseidon, said: “Completing the supply chain for the circular economy in PET has been one of our primary goals focusing on difficult to recycle waste PET materials.”

Dave Wall, global technology director at DTF, added: “We believe that this type of monomer recycling will play an increasingly important role to boost the circularity of PET, opening up new waste streams that currently cannot be economically mechanically recycled, and providing high-value end markets for recycled polyester.”