Dissolution of polymers – on of the major processes to enable recycling of products

Due to their unique chemical properties (low molecular weight, resollubility properties in water ), most VAE polymers used in adhesive applications, can be relatively easily dissolved at the end of the life cycle of an assembled product using suitable, mild, alkalic, or just water as solvent.

This is a significant requirement to help forward for various industries, like textiles, carpet, furniture and coatings, in terms of achieving zero waste targets. Many VAE polymers being used enalbe the recovery of materials using dissolution.

What is the dissolution process?

Dissolution is a fascinating process that plays a crucial role in recycling many kinds of products, inlcuding plastics.

Recycle, first disassemble products

Selective Separation by TNO Möbius

The TNO Möbius dissolution process is an innovative method used for recycling polymers and additives from recycled material, like plastic waste, this includes textiles, packaging and carpet. Depending on the specific mathod, it can selectively separate different polymers and additives by using a solvent that dissolves one polymer while leaving others intact.

  • How It Works:
  • Sorted plastic waste is dissolved using solvents.
  • The solvent selectively dissolves the desired polymer, leaving other waste components solid.
  • These solid components can then be filtered out.

The purified polymers will be ready for mechanical (preferred) or chemical recycling.

Advantages of the dissolving process:

  • Resource Efficiency and Environmentally Friendly:
  • The dissolution process is resource-efficient and environmentally friendly.
  • It allows us to recycle plastic waste into high-value applications.
  • By separating polymers and additives, we ensure the quality of the recycled material1.
  • Closing the Plastic Cycle:
    • As part of the global push toward circularity, the Netherlands aims to be 100% circular by 2050.
    • Dissolution, along with other recycling technologies, contributes to this goal.

Dissolution helps transform plastic waste into valuable recycled plastics, contributing to a more sustainable and circular future.