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BASF Debuts IrgaCycle Additives to Improve Properties of Mechanically Recycled Plastics

Image: BASF BASF IrgaCycle additive resins
The additives can help increase the percentage of recycled content used in rigid, flexible, and molding applications.

BASF announced today the launch of a new range of additives designed to improve the quality of post-consumer and post-industrial polyolefins for re-use in rigid, flexible, and molding applications. The new IrgaCycle addtives can help increase the percentage of recycled content in end-use applications such as packaging, automotive and mobility, and building and construction and help manufacturers achieve their sustainability objectives.

The plastics industry is seeking ways to incorporate greater content of recycled polymers in all major applications to meet sustainability goals, while facing  growing consumer concerns and stricter regulatory requirements to reduce plastic waste. Recycled plastics, however, often contain impurities and contaminants that accelerate polymer degradation, which change the material properties, said BASF in its news release.

‟The production of plastics from mechanical recycling is expected to almost triple by 2030, driven by improved technologies and regulation. This corresponds to a growth of around 10% per year,” said Dr. Thomas Kloster, President of BASF’s Performance Chemicals division, in a prepared statement. ‟With IrgaCycle we are expanding our existing portfolio step by step by specific solutions for recycling to support the circular economy goals for plastics.”

These solutions address specific quality issues associated with recycled resins, such as limited processability, poor long-term thermal stability, and insufficient weathering protection. The product line currently includes the following additive formulations, with more to follow in the future:

  • IrgaCycle PS 030 G enhances long-term thermal stability in rigid applications, mainly for recycled high-density (HD) polyethylene (PE), polyolefins, and mixed polymers.
  • IrgaCycle PS 031 G improves processing and long-term thermal stability of recycled low-density and linear-low-density PE for films and related flexible packaging applications.
  • IrgaCycle PS 032 G provides processing stability and long-term thermal protection for recycled polypropylene (PP) and polyolefin blends containing impurities.
  • IrgaCycle UV 033 DD combines weathering stability with enhanced thermal and processing stability for reclaimed HDPE and PP blends for re-use in outdoor goods.
  • IrgaCycle XT 034 DD rejuvenates processing, long-term heat stability, and helps neutralize impurities of the “first life” of the plastic, thus improving mechanical properties of polyolefin recyclates.

The blends are supplied ready-to-use for easy application during recycling. The granulated, non-dusting formula ensures safe and easy dosage during converting or compounding of reclaimed material.

“We have formulated these solutions based on our extensive experience in the plastics industry, combining the high quality of our antioxidants and light stabilizer systems with our application expertise,” said Dr. Volker Bach, Global Lead Innovation at BASF Plastic Additives. “With our global setup, we are able to engage across the entire value chain of the recycling industry, be it with brand owners or converters alike, and in all regions.”

The IrgaCycle range is offered as part of BASF’s Valeras portfolio. In addition to enabling plastics circularity with IrgaCycle, Valeras products bring sustainability value to plastic applications by improving durability, reducing waste, saving energy, reducing emissions, and promoting biodiversity, said BASF.

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