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A compact, modular system to produce food-grade, recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) resin is now available globally from PTI Recycling Systems (Holland, OH). PTI Recycling Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Plastic Technologies Inc., has been formed to bring the LNOc rPET production process to the global marketplace.

June 23, 2009

2 Min Read
Compact PET recycling option

A compact, modular system to produce food-grade, recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) resin is now available globally from PTI Recycling Systems (Holland, OH). PTI Recycling Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Plastic Technologies Inc., has been formed to bring the LNOc rPET production process to the global marketplace. For the past two years, LNOc resin has been produced for commercial use in the United States by Plastic Technologies’ sister company Phoenix Technologies (Bowling Green, OH).

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“The base unit produces 10 million lb of rPET per year. Capacity can easily be doubled with an add-on module. Further, we estimate the total cost of ownership at approximately 40% less than other rPET technologies that can require capital investments as high as $8 million-$10 million,” says Steve Hawksworth, director of PTI Recycling Systems. The equipment requires less than 2500 ft2 and can easily be taken apart and transported to a new location.

The modular system is said to be ideal for companies that want to quickly and easily incorporate commercially proven rPET production into their own facilities—particularly those who were previously blocked by capital investment, space, and labor constraints. This includes recycling plants, brand owners, retailers, and municipalities.

“Our philosophy is that rPET supply is better suited to multiple, smaller processing operations vs. one or two large-capacity plants. We believe in a local ‘consume, collect, convert’ approach. By locating rPET production in closer proximity to resin users, you improve supply times and reduce the carbon footprint,” he explains.

The LNO process relies on Phoenix’s patented “extremely small particle size” technology. The tiny particle size reportedly enables much more efficient decontamination compared to other processes, resulting in faster output and significant energy savings. (The “c” in the brand name refers to the “compacted” resin that is the end result.)

LNOc technology is also said to produce rPET with superior color and yield as compared to other methods. Further, it has lower acetaldehyde levels, which positively impact taste properties. Another benefit is its higher intrinsic viscosity (IV) or molecular weight, which more closely matches the IV found in virgin resins. This enables higher package performance. “Color, yield and taste attributes have traditionally been stumbling blocks in producing viable rPET—particularly with very sensitive liquids, such as water,” Hawksworth says.

PTI Recycling Systems has teamed with Conair (Cranberry Township, PA) to build the modular LNOc processing equipment. This includes a grinder that converts rPET flake into extra small particle-size powder, a compactor to compress the powder in pellets, and a standard resin dryer. [email protected]

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