Image by Hans Reniers

TECHNOLOGY

Our multi-block polymer additive enables the valorization of mixed plastics at low cost producing a higher quality resultant resin.

 

Polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) account for about 2/3 of all plastics in the post-consumer waste stream. However, due to their different structures they are not miscible, causing them to phase separate, somewhat like oil and water. This results in plastic mixtures with unacceptably poor strength. One way to create higher quality recycled materials is to perform careful manual separation, but this is expensive and the separated materials still exhibit performance that is inferior to pure PP and PE unless separation is near perfect.

 

Intermix has developed a multi-block copolymer (MBCP) that when added to a stream of mixed PP and PE enables these two polymers to be combined, yielding a polymer alloy that is mechanically comparable to pure PE and PP samples, without laborious and expensive sorting. The MBCP additive is particularly potent, compatibilizing mixtures of PE and PP with as little as 0.5% of the additive and at contamination levels of up to 70/30.