With IrgaCycle ™, BASF is introducing a new range of additive solutions that are tailored to the immediate requirements of plastics recycling.
The plastics industry is looking for ways to increase the amount of recycled material in all major applications in order to meet its sustainability goals. At the same time, it has to deal with growing consumer concerns and stricter legal guidelines to reduce plastic waste. A major challenge in the mechanical recycling of plastics is the elimination of quality deficits in the polymers that arise from thermal and mechanical stress during the recycling process.
Recycled plastics often contain foreign substances and impurities that accelerate polymer degradation and thus change the material properties. Recyclers and plastics processors therefore have quality and performance problems when processing recycled plastics. Formulated additive packages that improve the properties of these recycled plastics can be a solution here.
"The production of plastics from mechanically recycled materials is expected to almost triple by 2030 due to improved technologies and stricter regulations. This corresponds to a growth of around 10 percent per year," says Dr. Thomas Kloster, Head of the Performance Chemicals division at BASF. "With IrgaCycle we are gradually expanding our existing product portfolio with specific solutions for plastics recycling, thus helping to achieve the goals of the circular economy for plastics."
The new IrgaCycle range includes additive solutions that can help increase the amount of recycled content in various end-use applications such as packaging, automotive & transportation or building materials. These solutions address certain quality problems that occur with recycled plastics, such as limited processability, reduced long-term thermal stability and inadequate weather resistance. The product family already includes a number of different additives at the time of market launch, with more to follow in the future.
The additives include: IrgaCycle PS 030 G increases the long-term thermal stability in dimensionally stable applications, especially for recycled HDPE, recycled polyolefins and mixed polymers; IrgaCycle PS 031 G improves the processing and long-term thermal stability of recycled LDPE and LLDPE for films and other flexible packaging applications; IrgaCycle PS 032 G provides processing stability and long-term heat protection for recycled PP and polyolefin blends that contain impurities; IrgaCycle UV 033 DD combines weather resistance with increased heat and processing stability for recycled HDPE and PP blends for reuse in outdoor products; and IrgaCycle XT 034 DD renews the processing and long-term heat stability, helps to compensate for impurities from the "first life" of the plastic and thus improves the mechanical properties of polyolefin recyclate.
A particular advantage of these additive blends lies in their ready-to-use product forms, which can be easily added in the recycling process. The granulated, dust-free product form ensures safe and easy dosing when processing or reprocessing recycling material.
The IrgaCycle range becomes part of the VALERAS portfolio. VALERAS solutions not only enable the recyclability of plastics with IrgaCycle, but also create significant sustainability value for plastic applications by improving durability, reducing waste, saving energy, reducing emissions and promoting biodiversity.
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