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Evonik and Vita develop chemical recycling process of PU foams
Source:Adsale Plastics Network    Editor:JK    Date:18.Nov.2021

The Vita Group announces that it has partnered with Evonik to develop a chemical recycling process to convert flexible PU foams to the original polyol raw material.


Vita is currently trialing the recycled polyols from Evonik’s hydrolysis process in several flexible foam applications and Evonik’s new hydrolysis recycling process has the potential to achieve circularity in the flexible PU foam industry. As the next phase of the development, Evonik will scale-up trials of its new process.


According to the latest report from EUROPUR (European association of flexible polyurethane foam blocks manufacturers), some 40 million mattresses are discarded each year in Europe alone, with the majority ending up as landfills creating the equivalent of 600 kilotons of waste: including more than 300 kilotons of PU foam.


Evonik and Vita have developed a chemical recycling process to convert flexible PU foams to the original polyol raw material.

With the potential to recycle the main component materials used in flexible PU foams and PU foam-based mattresses, Evonik’s process offers significantly higher use levels of the recycled polyol compared with existing commercialized technologies. Its solution will contribute to the global flexible PU industry’s sustainability expectations of reducing waste and increasing the use of renewable raw materials in the production of its products.


“It’s only by recycling products back to their raw materials and reusing them over and over again that we will enable a fully circular economy,” commented Ralph Marquardt, Head of Evonik’s polyurethane additives business. “Our new hydrolysis process delivers recyclates of a quality and performance similar to that of virgin raw materials. Thus, innovative foam producers like our partner The Vita Group can meet their own sustainability targets, while continuing to deliver high-quality PU products.”


“Sustainability and innovation are central principles of every aspect of our business,” said Ian W. Robb, Group CEO for the Vita Group. “We see it as our responsibility to be at the vanguard of the development of eco-friendly technology within our industry. This hugely exciting partnership represents a key milestone on our journey to achieving the circular economy we are all striving for, and we look forward to working closely together with Evonik.”



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