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Recycling and recovery
Tonnage recycled
Outlet and R&D
Mechanical recycling:

- shreddering/grinding:
when post-consumer waste is relatively clean (as in the case of post-installation waste), it is possible for several manufacturers to take back their own product whose formulations are compatible with their product ranges. On the other hand using waste from other flooring manufacturers can be problematic. Shreddering/grinding can also be used as an conditioning/cleaning intermediate step before compacting (see below) and could then be used for any kind of post-consumer waste. Tests are currently undertaken with partner recyclers.

- cryogenic recycling:
the AgPR together with Messer Griesheim (more info see AgPR website) has developed a cryogenic recycling technology, which mainly consists in mircronizing the product whilst cooling with nitrogen. Recyclate can then be used back in dark back layers of flooring and other applications.

- shreddering and compacting:
draining mats, for sport & leasure ( horse field tracks), soil containment are made from soft PVC being compacted. PVC unique properties, such as higher weight than other plastics and resistance to bacterias means it is a material of choice for those drainage applications where resiliency and durability is needed. Other applications are road cones and road equipment. This outlet is depending on the availability or not of other soft PVC waste sources (including industrial waste) to the recyclers introducing high fluctuations in the availability of this outlet.

- melt filtration:
In this process the shreddered waste is fed into an extruder and the extruded paste then goes through a filter. Tests undertaken in 2003 and 2004 have shown the difficulty of this process which has therefore been currently discarded as of post-consumer PVC recycling option.

- dissolution by solvent: the Vinyloop technology
In the past years EPFLOOR has developed a research & development programme in order to find application from post-consumer PVC flooring. A new compound for flooring, recinylŠ, was developed. Different grades of this compound could be used in calendered flooring and coated flooring (cushion vinyl) interlayers. A foamable dry blend was also developed. Large scale production was not iniated because the Vinyloop unit in Ferrara is now using other raw materials (mainly cable) and is at full capacity. The plant is however now implementing a new technology (incl. installation of decanter centrifuge) which should be operational in early 2007. Before this new technology development has been validated, application to flooring production must be postponed. For more info on this technology see www.vinyloop.com

Feedstock recycling

In the last years, EPFLOOR has been participating into a number of trials and large scale tests with various feedstock recycling technologies. The stop of PVC recycling activities the RGS90:Stigsnaes plant came as a major blow as this outlet was closed leading to the need to find new recycling outlets for Swedish waste. In 2003, EPFLOOR participated into a joint test with the Feedstock recycling plant DOW/BSL. The test investigated on the collection and treatment of 1000T of various types of waste such as plastisols, cables, coated fabrics, window profiles and flooring. However up to now, no treatment capacity could be contracted. Such initiatives can of course not be taken by EPFLOOR alone but must be done in cooperation with other sectors.

Incineration with HCl recovery

Several incinerators such as the MVR Hamburg incinerator are equipped with HCl recovery equipment. HCl can then be used back in Chlorine industry or transformed into salt for deicing roads. EPFLOOR has undertaken several tests (pilot and large scale) with this incinerator in 2003 and 2004. The undercapacity for incineration following the landfill ban in Germany now makes it difficult as an outlet as no space is currently available.

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