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Josef Hochreiter, CEO of Next Generation Recyclingmaschinen GmbH.
Josef Hochreiter, CEO of Next Generation Recyclingmaschinen GmbH.

From the perspective of NGR, the post-consumer recycling market is full of potential as the circular economy is our planet’s future.

“The PET recycling market is also growing very, very fast,” Josef Hochreiter, CEO of Next Generation Recyclingmaschinen GmbH, told CPRJ at Fakuma 2018.

According to Josef Hochreiter, there are three key factors for a successful circular economy and post-consumer recycling market.

“We have to optimize and reduce the necessary material input for the process. Therefore, collecting materials for recycling and good product design are very important,” he explained.

He continued: “We also see PET as a driver because we expect that its consumption and applications will further increase in the next years. PET is a very good material and can be used in different kinds of products.”.

“In addition, the industry is changing the products so that they can be brought back to the value chain, for example, the bottle to bottle concept is a very good example. Such example will be more and more in the future,” he added.

Three main trends in the recycling sector

NGR specializes in three applications: post-industrial recycling, PET recycling and post-consumer recycling. Josef Hochreiter summarized three main trends in the above applications: automation, inline recycling, quality control.

The benefits of automation speak for themselves. It saves costs as well as increases productivity and quality. For inline recycling, he said industrial scraps left behind by the industrial production of plastic products are a high-quality and valuable raw material.

The latest innovation of NGR for post-industrial recycling is the E:GRAN, the reprocessing technology for thermoplastic film edge trims and roll scraps. It is one step process and fits well in both the trends of automation and inline recycling.

E:GRAN is the latest innovative solution of NGR for post-industrial recycling.E:GRAN can be used as a stand-alone solution or integrated with a film production process. The chopped film material is pre-compressed and fed directly to the extruder. Besides, the control concepts adjusts the extruder speed to fluctuating edge trim amounts automatically, thus facilitating maximum product quality.

For quality control, apart from the quality of pellets produced, Josef Hochreiter also emphasized the importance of efficient sorting and filtration.

In the recycling circle, washing and extrusion processes have to be state-of-the-art technologies, and sorting and filtration control the quality of materials to be recycled, he explained.

“At the end of the production process, more good materials with high value have to be easily used in high-end applications,” he elaborated. “In this way, more materials can go back to the value chain.”

P:REACT the shapes the future of PET recycling

With the new P:REACT technology, NGR provides high quality and clean recycled PET (rPET) with high level of process stability.
With P:REACT technology, NGR provides high quality and clean rPET with high level of process stability.
P:REACT is said as the next dimension of PET recycling. It only takes a few minutes to take PET from industrial waste or post-consumer PET and turn it into food-safe rPET.

“The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) both confirm the LSP process is fully food-safe,” emphasized Josef Hochreiter.

Thanks to the advanced LSP (Liquid State Polycondensation) process, the PET melt phase is used to trigger the polycondensation of PET. The reaction speed in the PET melt is significantly higher than in the solid state. The clear advantage is that the IV values, controlled with pinpoint accuracy, can be even higher than those of the original starting material and depends entirely on the objectives.

In addition, the highest energy efficiency was taken care of during the development process. The efficiency is significantly higher than conventional SSP applications, according to Josef Hochreiter.

Josef Hochreiter also unveiled that NGR will introduce the next generation of recycling technologies in next year, which feature optimized output and adopt Industry 4.0 functions.

He agreed that Industry 4.0 can connect the whole process from sorting to pellets production, ensuring a stable and efficient process that produce high quality products.

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