that the company recently sold four PET recycling lines in Brazil.
"We have sold lines in Europe, North and South America, but with these four lines that we sold in Brazil recently, we have certainly seen a surge in South America," she said. "We have always been very successful in South America with our filtration systems. But of course, in the end, decisions are being made based on return-on-investment calculations."
Brazilian company Unnafibras ordered three recycling lines from Gneuss.
Two lines were purchased for the production of textile fibers; one was laid out for bottle-to-bottle recycling.
At Unnafibras' headquarters in Santo André, the first two lines produce co-extruded polyester fibers from recycled material, with a total capacity of 1500 kg/hr. The third line, which reaches a capacity of 2000 kg/hr, is operated in Paraiba. Pellets are produced from PET bottle flakes, and are used by local injection molding companies for the production of bottle preforms.
Nova Pack, another Brazilian company, specializes in the production of thermoforming sheets made of PET, PP, and PS. For PET sheet production, the company had used in-house or purchased recycled material for several years. Nova Pack recently made a switch and invested in the extrusion line with the MRS Extruder to produce packaging made from 100% recycled material.
"I wouldn't call this a Brazilian trend, we see a lot of interest worldwide in using recycled materials to produce high-quality end products," Gneuss said. "But recycling has been a big growth market for many years in Brazil."
The key distinction of the patented MRS extruder is its multiple screw system consisting of a single-screw drum with satellite screws on the periphery that provide an expanded and rapidly heated melt surface for degassing and removing volatiles.
In essence, there is a ring of eight small single-screw extruders in the multi-screw section, continuously creating and exchanging new surface areas, allowing for high devolatilization capabilities, she said.
"Thanks to the efficient devolatilization, there is no need for any pre-treatment, like drying or crystallizing, when processing PET bottle flakes," Gneuss said. "This results in low energy costs, small footprint, and simpler operation."