Total, Canadian firm join forces to recycle post-consumer polystyrene

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Photo by Polystyvert (copyright: Luke Doherty)

Total SA’s polymers business unit and Montreal-based clean technology start-up Polystyvert have joined forces to work together on the “dissolution and purification” of household post-consumer polystyrene.

In a 2 May statement, Total said the agreement will seek to combine Polystyvert’s innovative method for polystyrene recycling with Total's know-how in industrial-scale dissolution and polymerisation technologies to generate high-quality recyclates.

Polystyvert has developed a low-carbon-footprint technology for recycling polystyrene that is based on a dissolution process.

The process, according to Total, produces recyclates which can be used in a broader range of market applications than recyclates produced through mechanical recycling methods.

Household post-consumer plastics such as polystyrene often contain contaminants that make mechanical recycling difficult or not practical.

Total said it performed three successful test runs with post-consumer recyclates incorporated in virgin polymer via dissolution and polymerisation in 2017.

“Working with Polystyvert to tackle household post-consumer waste is the next logical step for Total," added Jean Viallefont, VP polymers Europe, Total Refining & Chemicals.

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