Braskem to expand portfolio of post-consumer resins
Braskem, the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas and the largest producer of polypropylene in the United States, announced an important investment to expand its portfolio of post-consumer resins (PCR). In partnership with Valoren, a company specialised in the development and operation of technologies for the transformation of waste, the Brazilian company will invest BRL67 million (USD13 million) to construct a recycling line with the capacity to transform around 250 million packages into 14 thousand tons of resin for high-quality post-consumer products per year.
The project will be installed in Indaiatuba, in the interior of the state of São Paulo, and is scheduled to start operations in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Fabiana Quiroga, director of Circular Economy at Braskem in South America, explains that technology is a great ally to leverage recycling in Brazil and, consequently, the post-consumer polymer market.
“The rates of waste recovery have grown gradually in recent years and we believe that, among the challenges that the sector still faces, the increase in the quality of PCR resin, which expands its possibilities of use, is an important factor for us to continue advancing in development. We are very pleased to announce the partnership with Valoren, which will add to our business its expertise in waste management and supply, in addition to the development of technologies for recycling, favoring the entire plastic value chain,” Quiroga said.
Most of the waste processed in the recycling line will be of domestic origin, considering rigid polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) materials, such as food packaging, cleaning materials, personal hygiene products and cosmetics. The material, after processing, will yield high-quality PCR.
The recycling line will be formed by a modular complex that integrates different stages of the process. The plastic waste placed at the beginning of the process will go through the grinding, washing, extrusion and homogenisation steps. The design of the project is unprecedented and the machinery has cutting edge European technology, complemented by national equipment.
Among the project’s differentials are: high-performance washing line, with optical selector for removing contaminants by color and by type of material; homogenising silos; high-precision additive and input dosing systems; and, module for odor elimination and high-performance polymer filtration, which will contribute to the quality of the final PCR. The system also seeks to meet the best sustainability practices, with recirculating water treatments, to optimise water and energy resources. In addition, the project reinforces Braskem’s commitment to adopt the best practices in pellet control – the format in which plastic resin is sold.
“We strongly believe in this partnership with Braskem when we contribute to the development of an innovative project, which brings to Brazil the best of the world technology in mechanical recycling, fully aligned with Valoren’s mission of expanding the circular economy through the valorisation of waste, applying innovative technologies and business models.The project is not only technological and economical, but also environmental and social by integrating a new material supply chain into the new plant that will promote an increase in the recycling of plastic waste and the professionalisation of recyclers in Brazil, ” said Heinz-Peter Elstrodt, chairman of Valoren’s Board.
“Braskem was born with sustainable development as an objective linked to the business and the circular economy has always been part of our mindset . We believe in the importance of mobilising all the links in the chain, from the industry to the final consumer, in order to advance in the transformation we desire while this recycling line is another important step in the construction of this journey,” Quiroga said.