Chemical recycling of complex multilayer films / Planned construction of a 10,000 t/y plant in Germany

Chemical recycling of complex multilayer films / Planned construction of a 10,000 t/y plant in GermanyCarboliq CEO Christian Haupts (Photo: S??dpack)Chemical recycler Carboliq (Remscheid; is planning to construct a recycling facility in Cologne Knapsack for the thermo-chemical recycling of different waste fractions by the proprietary Carboliq process. The plant is to have an output capacity of 10,000 t/y and the project is currently at the approval stage, Carboliq CEO Christian Haupts told, adding that he expects the facility to be online by the start of 2025. No details of the investment involved were provided.

Since a capital increase last year, Carboliq has had three shareholders. Packaging producer S??dpack (Ochsenhausen, Germany; and Clean Cycle Investments both have a 31% stake, while 38% of the shares are held by recycling specialist Recenso (Remscheid, Germany;, which, in turn, is owned by Haupts and two other shareholders.

Clean Cycle Investments was founded by the Last entrepreneur family and had been the sole owner of US bag-in-box manufacturer Scholle IPN (Northlake, Illinois; until it was sold to SIG Combibloc (Neuhausen, Switzerland; in 2022. The Last family had announced at the time that it would be investing around EUR 150 mn in recycling companies.

The Carboliq facility in Ennigerloh, Germany has been operational since 2020 (Photo: Carboliq)S??dpack had concluded a cooperation agreement with Carboliq in 2020, primarily for the chemical recycling of composite films. Since then, residual multilayer film material obtained during film production, which cannot be mechanically recycled, has been recycled in the pilot plant that Carboliq has been operating in Ennigerloh, Germany, since 2020.

???We don???t want to replace mechanical recycling,??? said Dirk Hardow, head of Functional Films & Compounds at S??dpack. The packaging producer, who most recently generated sales in excess of EUR 600 mn, is also committed to mechanical recycling at its Schwendi location close to Ulm, Germany.

The recycled compounds are supplied to plastics converters who use them for injection moulding toothbrushes, disposable razors, and car components. The recyclate obtained is additionally used in-house by S??dpack, such as for intermediate layers in coextruded film for food packaging.

The planned facility in Cologne is set to use the scaled-up CTC (catalytic tribochemical conversion) process that Carboliq has been trying out at its pilot plant in Ennigerloh since 2020. The thermo-chemical process, which is also known as direct oiling, operates on the basis of friction heat. At less than 400°C, its reaction temperature is lower than that of other chemical recycling methods. The Ennigerloh facility, which is now being operated continuously, has a nominal output capacity of up to 1,500 t/y.

The secondary raw material marketed under the CLR (circular liquid resource) name is similar to fossil mineral oil. Plastic granules can then be produced from this by mixing in fossil oil.03.03.2023 [251901-0]

» Publication Date: 03/03/2023

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