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Coperion twin screw extruder chosen for Plastics2chemicals recycling plant

Source:Adsale Plastics Network 2023-07-24

Coperion will deliver a ZSK Mc18 twin screw extruder and corresponding peripherals for Belgian waste management company Indaver’s Plastics2chemicals (P2C) chemical recycling plant.


The P2C plant is currently under construction in Antwerp, Belgium and is expected to annually chemically recycle 30,000 tons of plastic waste into high-quality basic chemicals.


Along with the ZSK extruder, the order includes Coperion K-Tron gravimetric feeders, a vacuum unit, a closing valve, and the melt line to the reactor.


Coperion twin extruder plays a key role in P2C process


Indaver reclaims materials from mixed polyolefin and polystyrene streams with its innovative P2C depolymerization process in which plastics are broken down into shorter carbon chains or monomers. Base products such as naphtha (raw benzine) and wax result from polyolefins (PE and PP). Polystyrenes are split into monomers that can be reused as raw material.


The Coperion ZSK Mc18 twin screw extruder assumes a central function in Indaver’s P2C process. Before plastic waste can be fed into the reactor, it must pass through the ZSK extruder’s process section at throughputs of up to 3.7 tons per hour.


ZSK twin screw extruders from Coperion ensure energy-efficient, continuous reactor loading in chemical plastics recycling. 

A Coperion K-Tron gravimetric feeder continuously feeds agglomerated plastic waste into the twin screw extruder. Using intensive shearing and dispersion, the ZSK extruder’s twin screws introduce a large amount of mechanical energy into the material stream in a very short period of time.


In just 30 seconds, the agglomerated post-consumer waste is transformed into a homogeneous, up to 350°C (660°F) hot melt in an energy-efficient process. The melt exits the ZSK extruder uniformly, ensuring constant loading of the likewise continuously operating P2C plant’s reactor.


An additional Coperion K-Tron gravimetric feeder regulates the addition of additives into the ZSK extruder’s process section, where they are homogeneously mixed in. At the same time, the remaining moisture in the agglomerated plastic is reduced via the ZSK extruder’s devolatilization.


High added value for chemical recycling proven


At Coperion’s Test Center, the high added value of the ZSK extruder in Indaver’s P2C depolymerization process has been proven in comprehensive tests. The company’s ZSK technology ensures the energy-efficient, continuous reactor loading in the process.


Frank Lechner, General Manager Process Technology and Research & Development at Coperion, said: “ZSK twin screw extruders possess numerous advantages that are especially beneficial in chemical recycling. Thanks to the twin screws’ effective operation, plastic energy dissipation takes place in no time – one core advantage for energy efficiency.”


In chemical recycling, ZSK technology covers a very wide throughput range of 1 kg to 20 tons per hour, allowing high-capacity product streams to be processed.


Paul De Bruycker, CEO of Indaver, emphasized that the company will reclaim valuable raw materials from plastics, achieving its goal as a waste removal company of playing an important role in the circular economy.

Feeding and conveying
Twin screw extruder

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