Bausano explores the advantages of the recycling of post-industrial PVC residues through granulation, as well as the challenges that the conversion of regenerated material into a high-quality product might pose.
PVC represents a first-choice material, promoting the transition to a circular economy. In fact, PVC can be recycled more than eight times while maintaining the same performance levels, thanks to its polymeric structure. In that sense, granulation is one of the best processes to transform end-of-life PVC products or residues into new raw material.
Nonetheless, one of the main challenges in recycling PVC lies in converting the regenerated material into a high-quality product – Bausano twin-screw extruders fully meet this requirement, producing granules from the recovery of rigid and flexible PVC, which are characterised by the highest standards.
Alessandro Ruotolo, Extrusion Test Manager at Bausano, said:
“PVC is among the most widespread thermoplastic polymers in the world for applications in various sectors, from construction to medical. The sustainability of its life cycle makes this material a valuable resource in implementing European strategies for the recovery and reuse of plastic.
“In particular, the recycling of post-industrial PVC residues reaps a double benefit: on the one hand, environmental protection, reducing both the consumption of the energy required to produce the same amount of new PVC and greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, granulation reduces company expenses owing to the disposal of PVC waste to a minimum, creating a closed-loop process that converts a management cost into a profit.”
Specifically, the extrusion process of residues or waste requires high performance, especially in the mixing and degassing stages, as they are treated with additives, fillers and fibres. This is why using twin-screw machines for re-extrusion into granules offers concrete advantages; they offer greater flexibility in the formulation to reach the required result. Furthermore, the presence of contaminants, which is one of the main difficulties in PVC regeneration, can be stopped by a specifically designed filter change system.
Bausano’s MD Plus and MD Nextmover twin-screw extrusion lines are also suitable for recycling processes as they can process and remove impurities of plastic materials, such as PVC resulting from scrap or post-consumer waste. The qualified consultancy of the technical team, along every step of the way, allows twin-screw extruders to give the extruded products a uniform final composition, ideal for the subsequent moulding, extrusion, or calendering processes.
Alessandro Ruotolo concluded:
“At Bausano, we think that the way the production and consumption of plastic is perceived, as we know it today, must be radically changed so that the entire cycle we belong to can really be sustainable and replicable over time. This is why we believe it is essential to invest in R&D to enhance the technologies able to improve the environmental footprint of PVC. This will speed up the transition to a circular economy and contribute to mitigating climate change.”