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The sustainability initiative targets medical equipment made with Solvay’s Udel-branded polysulfone.

March 29, 2022

1 Min Read
dialysis equipment
Image courtesy of Alamy/Yuriy Klochan

Solvay and Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials (MCAM) have announced a sustainability initiative targeting medical equipment made with Solvay’s Udel-branded polysulfone (PSU) thermoplastic. The companies said they are investigating logistics for recovery, recycling, and reprocessing of end-of-life Udel PSU–based medical components. The recycled material would be reused in the same applications.

The project is aligned with Solvay’s One Planet sustainability roadmap and Mitsubishi’s KAITEKI vision designed to preserve resources and contribute to safer, cleaner, and more sustainable products.

Medical applications of Udel typically involve filtration, including dialysis devices. More than 90% of all dialysis membranes are made from PSU or polyethersulfone, according to Solvay. The material also is commonly used to mold components for biopharmaceutical processing.

“The agreement with Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials is the latest demonstration of Solvay’s commitment to help customers achieve ambitious sustainability targets,” said Antonella Di Meo, Product Sustainability Manager at Solvay. “It is part of our long-term commitment to develop sustainable solutions from bio-based or recycled resources. With this project, we want to show, in a practical way, that it is possible to recycle high-value Udel PSU parts used in the medical field, yielding important savings in CO2 emissions along the production and supply chain.”

The project leverages techniques developed by MCAM to wash and mechanically purify the material combined with Solvay's ability to evaluate the chemistry of the end-of-life polymer. The objective is to develop a robust recycling strategy that will provide customers with materials that fully meet all specifications, said the companies.

MCAM previously partnered with Solvay in reclamation and recycling of other high-performance polymers, including KetaSpire polyetheretherketone (PEEK).

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