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‘Life ECOMETHYLAL’, a project to recover plastics which can´t be recycled nowadays

Life Ecomethylal, coordinated by AIMPLAS (the Plastics Technology Centre, based in Valencia), is an European project that, by catalytic hydro-gasification with plasma technology means to obtain methylal from plastic wastes. This way, refused plastics that, until now, can´t not be recycled at all, will be recovered.

A pilot plant will be built to give value to packaging, automotive and electric and electronic plastic waste, which are mainly mixtures of different plastics that are impossible to be recovered with the existing technologies. Actually, in 2014, a total of 7.8 million tonnes of these wastes were thrown out in landfills

Regarding this matter, the head of the Sustainability and Industrial Recovery department at AIMPLAS, Eva Verdejo, explains that “during the project, a small and modular pilot plant is going to be built, which will treat these wastes to obtain methylal. This process is a chemical recycling that is above energy valorisation in terms of waste hierarchy”.

As a result, methylal will be obtained, a substance that can be used as a solvent or as a raw material to produce new plastics.

Under this project, at least 15 industrial plants are supposed to be built having this process integrated in the European Union in a period of five years, once the project has been finished. This will allow to treat a total of 144,000 tonnes of plastics each year and obtain 91,200 tonnes of methylal from them.

These plants will make also possible to save 74,400 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year and an energy saving of 3,400 million MJ each year.

The project LIFE ECOMETHYLAL is framed within the EU Programme LIFE. Some other companies from Valencia which are part of the plan are BPP, ACTECO and AIRESA. Apart from those, the company MI-PLAST from Croatia, is also working with them.

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