How does ZKS- Trenntechnik change post- consumer plastic processing?








Sink or float!

Following an old tradition in mechanical processing diverse waste fractions can be separated by their varying density. Especially Polyolefines (PO; Polyethylene PE and Polypropylene PP) representing the main post-consumer plastic (PCP) fraction in municipal and industrial waste can be easily separated from the other waste fractions due to their lower density than water.

By applying a hydro jig for heavy (inert) components pre-separation followed by a sink- float process in a centrifugal force separator PO can be efficiently separated from diverse waste fractions when only water is used as separation medium. The new developed plant concept is characterized by its simple and robust process, stable in operation but flexible to material input quality fluctuations, high product quality and high throughputs per unit promoting competitive treatment costs also for mixed (heterogeneous) primarily  fine and two- dimensional particle collectives.


Plastic recycling

More has to be done!

In the EU barely 30 wt-% of the annually collected 25 mill. t of post-consumer plastics (PCP) undergo material recycling, whereby this number is in doubt due to various calculation approaches among European countries.

Referring to the already enacted European Union directive on circular economy, the rate of plastic recycling  should be increased to 55 wt-% by 2025.

Consequently more PCP has to be recovered for recycling and more PCP has to be recycled. Additionally to mechanical recycling, which suffers from limitations in achievable material qualities, chemical recycling can produce plastics of the same quality like virgin plastics made from crude oil and furthermore provides a broader feedstock spectrum. Consequently chemical recycling contributes to increase PCP recycling rates.



Be prepared!

The team ZKS- Trenntechnik consist of Markus Bauer and Daniel Schwabl both process engineers focused on mechanical processing.

Markus Bauer (PhD) developed the basic process concept  within his PhD thesis when comparing different waste separation or sorting technologies in cooperation with OMV Refining & Marketing GmbH. When the idea grew to build a pilot plant also  the team had to grew and Daniel Schwabl a passioned boy scout joined the project. Themed "Be prepared" they faced several challenges within the following 4 year research project supported by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and industrial partners leading the technology to readiness level of 4-5. Now the last step should be taken in a 18 months project called Spin-off Fellowship ZKS- Trenntechnik (also powered by FFG)   to achieve TRL 7 and prepare the technology in industrial scale for the market till the end of 2019.




Spin-off Fellowship ZKS- Trenntechnik

Montanuniversitaet Leoben

Franz-Josef-Strasse 18

A-8700 Leoben



ZKS- Trenntechnik, Montanuniversitaet Leoben © 2018

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