Sector News

Vynova announces R&D programme on PVC recycling technologies

June 22, 2024
Energy & Chemical Value Chain

Vynova today announced the launch of a research & development programme to further advance PVC recycling and help the PVC value chain accelerate towards circularity. Vynova’s innovation efforts focus on technologies to remove heavy metals from dissolved rigid post-consumer PVC waste such as used window profiles or pipes.

PVC is widely used in numerous long-lasting and durable applications and can be repeatedly mechanically recycled without any significant loss of key properties. Over the past 20 years, the European Vinyls value chain has been successful in the large-scale implementation of mechanical recycling processes, with more than 700,000 tonnes of PVC recycled in Europe every year. However, due to the long lifespan of PVC applications such as windows or pipes, PVC waste often still contains additives that were used in production decades ago, but have since been proactively phased out by the European Vinyls industry. In order to ensure full compliance with existing and potential future restrictions related to such legacy additives, innovative solutions are required.

To help realize this goal, Vynova has launched an R&D programme comprising both internal research efforts and collaborations with academic institutions. One of these collaborations is focused on removing heavy metals, such as lead and cadmium, from end-of-life rigid PVC products through a combination of dissolution and membrane filtration technologies. If the current research efforts are successful in providing expanded, viable recycling options for the European PVC industry, Vynova will move towards industrialisation of these technologies by 2030.

“In the last few years, we have explored various technology options to contribute to improved PVC circularity. This R&D programme aims to complement and further build on existing mechanical recycling technologies. We look forward to continue engaging with value chain partners and contribute to their circular PVC ambitions,” comments Rudy Miller, Vice President Vinyls Business and Head of Circularity at Vynova.

“Sustainability is at the core of our strategy and our mission of offering solutions that bring the benefits of chemistry to society while preserving the planet’s climate, environment and resources. Our efforts to advance PVC recycling are another sign of that commitment to sustainability leadership. In recent years, we have also launched our broad VynoEcoSolutions offering of ISCC PLUS-certified products with a low CO2 footprint, such as circular, bio-circular and renewable energy-derived PVC as well as renewable energy-derived caustic soda and potassium hydroxide. More recently, our Mazingarbe site in France became the first PVC production site in the world to receive the Operation Clean Sweep certification. In March 2024, we were also awarded an EcoVadis Platinum Rating, placing us in the top 1% of over 130,000 companies assessed for their sustainability performance,” concludes Vynova CEO Christophe André.


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