United States – US company Ecopuro has created a structural particle called the Boundary Breaker able to break up contaminants in the plastics waste stream to improve recycling results, so Plastics Recycling Update reports. The additive does not rely on chemical reactions as it is a chemically inert nano- to micro-sized particle described as ‘millions of rolling and tumbling mixing blades’.
The new solution is a powder that can be masterbatched or put into pellet form, says Ecopuro, which is headquartered in Denver.
The additive can be used at concentrations of 0.25% to 5% of the total weight of the plastic and additives, depending on the application. Incorporating Ecopuro’s innovation increases throughput by as much as 30% during both extrusion and injection moulding.
‘The Boundary Breaker additive is a mechanical dispersing aid, therefore it is not limited by thermoplastic chemistry, which is extremely important in mixed recycled polymer processing,’ explains William Johnson, co-owner of Ecopuro.
Another benefit is that the additive reduces the cell size in plastic foams, meaning the parts are stronger, thus allowing manufacturers to use less plastic.
Plans have been announced to start licensing the patented process to large recycling companies.