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PureCycle, Milliken Develop Fully Circular Polypropylene Concentrate

PureCycle Technologies and Milliken announced at K 2022 the development of what they claim is the first fully sustainable polypropylene concentrate on the market.

Norbert Sparrow

October 21, 2022

2 Min Read
PureCycle press conference
At K 2022, a moderator leads a conversation with PureCycle Technologies CEO Dustin Olson (center) and Wim Van de Velde, Global Vice President, Additives, Milliken.Image courtesy of Norbert Sparrow

PureCycle Technologies and Milliken announced today at K 2022 the development of what they call the first fully sustainable polypropylene (PP) concentrate on the market.

“Typically, plastics contain 2 to 3% additives,” said PureCycle Technologies CEO Dustin Olson during a press conference at the trade show in Düsseldorf, Germany. “This product achieves full circularity, even with additives, thanks to the PureCycle process,” he noted. Also, when used in combination with PureCycle’s recycled PP, the concentrate has a carbon footprint that is approximately 35% lower than virgin PP, said Olson.

Milliken’s new concentrate will be formulated using Millad NX 8000 ECO clarifier in the Purecycle rPP carrier. As an added benefit, the certified energy savings realized by using resin produced with this clarifier allows brand owners to display the UL Environmental Claim Validation label on their injection-molded parts.

The PureCycle process doesn’t fall neatly into either of the current recycling buckets. It’s neither purely mechanical, nor is it chemical recycling, because no de-polymerization is involved. Olson put it this way: “We basically dry clean the molecule.”

Invented by P&G, the PureCycle process essentially removes all contaminants from waste PP such that the end result is a material that is akin to virgin PP. The technology, incidentally, puts PureCycle in regulatory purgatory, which can be problematic from a legislative perspective, Olson noted as an aside. Be that as it may, it has allowed PureCycle to develop a new concentrate that fully realizes circularity.

Product samples will be made available near the beginning of the year in North America and Europe, with commercialization to follow.

During the course of the press conference, Olson also discussed some of PureCycle’s priorities heading into 2023:

  • The company is almost ready to begin operations at the Ironton, OH, plant, which will achieve annual capacity of 130 million pounds.

  • A second US facility is being built in Augusta, GA, which will ultimately support eight waste purification lines. 

  • International growth is getting more attention at the company. In January of this year, PureCycle announced an agreement with SKGC in South Korea to build Asia’s first recycled PP plant. Olson also said that the company is in the process of building a European team and that a facility on the continent is under consideration.

K 2022 runs through Oct. 26 at Messe Düsseldorf in Düsseldorf, Germany.

About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 30 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree.


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