Deodorization of plastic


A process for the elimination of unwanted odours in recycled plastic materials through processes without additional chemicals, using only water vapour.

In recent years, the evidence in the low plastic recycling rate has prompted a social movement towards increased plastic recycling. Thanks to this movement, the plastic waste collection is exponentially increasing. However, one of the barriers encountered in recycling is the low quality of the recycled plastic, which prevents its use in most high-value applications, resulting in the so-called 'downcycling'.

One of the main problems with using recycled plastics is that they have a strong odor, due to leftovers from their previous use that become absorbed in the polymeric matrix. One of the most well-known cases is the scent of detergent fragrances in recycled HDPE, as a large portion of it comes from bottles used in home and personal hygienic products.

If plastics have been in contact with decomposing organic matter, as is the case when plastic is not separated in the yellow container, the malodorous compounds become trapped in the plastic, and their odor is unbearable to the point that a significant portion of these plastics are incinerated.

Conventional washing processes used by recyclers only remove the superficial dirt without eliminating the absorbed unwanted compounds that produce the smell. Although immediately after washing, the odor is acceptable, after a few hours, the migration of the compounds causes the unpleasant smell to reappear in these plastics.

To reduce and/or eliminate the odor emitted by recycled plastics, Fych has developed a process that allows for the extraction of all the odorous molecules absorbed in the plastic. It is a mechanical process that does not use any chemicals, only steam.

It is a mechanical process that does not use any chemicals, it is only based on the use of water vapour. This solution is based on the extraction of odour-causing substances with water vapour.

Mechanical decontamination of plastics

This solution is based on the extraction of odor-causing substances with steam. The physical principle that governs this process is the internal diffusion of these substances due to the working temperature and the decrease in the boiling point of the odorous compounds, as they are immiscible with water. This effect improves their evaporation from the polymer surface to the vapor phase and subsequent elimination compared to other methods such as extraction with hot air.

This treatment is fully compatible with mechanical plastic recycling. Fych's deodorization system is added to the final stage of mechanical recycling, after the extrusion stage, so that the recycled pellets would be introduced into an additional deodorization module, resulting in odorless pellets suitable for the production of non-food packaging and other plastic products that require odorlessness.

The implementation of this improved process for the quality of recycled plastic is aimed at both recyclers, enabling them to expand their target market for their materials, and plastic product manufacturers who want to ensure a quality standard in their raw materials.

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