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Chemical recycling to allow recovering polyurethane from landfills to use it as raw material

AIMPLAS is participating in FOAM2FOAM, the objective of which is to obtain raw materials from polyurethane waste that until now ended up in landfills o were mechanically recycled to obtain low value-added products.

Polyurethane is a material that has many forms, including flexible and rigid, as well as others that stand out for their lightness. It is precisely for that reason that it has a large number of applications, from foamed products for Automotive and Transport and Furniture to packaging, insulations for Construction, applications for Electronics and in sneaker soles.

The fact that it does not have a simple logistic due to its different origins and because it is usually mixed with other materials makes that it ended up in landfills in most cases and its recycling used to be mechanically performed, thus obtaining a low value-added material.

The objective of the FOAM2FOAM project, within the framework of the I+D Retos Calaboración national call and funded by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, is to apply chemical recycling to waste decomposing the material by using heat, chemicals or catalysers in a process called catalytic glycolysis, which makes possible to obtain new raw materials called green polyols. This way, we avoid using raw materials from non-renewable sources to manufacture new products.

The objective of the project is to scale up the process and analyse its efficiency. For that purpose, a consortium led by Titan Recycling Solutions has been created, in which Arcesso Dynamics, AMB Electrónica de Brescia and the technology centres Gaiker and AIMPLAS also participate.