ChemPet project

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a thermoplastic polymer widely used in the food packaging industry, where it allows better preservation of food (meat, milk, cold cuts, water, juices and drinks) and therefore a reduction in food waste, and in industry textile for the production of technical clothing, curtains and linings of cars. With an annual growth of 4% – 5%, it represents a worldwide production of around 70 million tons annually.

Despite its properties, most of the PET in circulation is still difficult to recycle due to a number of technological barriers. Only 10% of the PET placed on the market (recycling bottles) is recycled, while the remaining 90% is disposed of in landfill or incinerated simply because, with a mechanical process, it is not possible to obtain a secondary raw material with a value that justifies the recovery treatment.

Garbo S.r.l., in collaboration with the University of Modena and Bologna, has developed an innovative “chemical recycling” process, called ChemPET, capable of handling almost all the currently non-recoverable PET based waste. Through a chemical reaction, the PET, present in the pre- and post-consumer waste, is reacted selectively with ethylene glycol and transformed into an intermediate product called BHET (bis-hydroxy-ethylene-terephthalate) which, if adequately purified , can be used again for the production of PET in place of raw materials of fossil origin.

Materials PET based that can be recovered with the ChemPET process are:

  • multi-layer thermoforming scrap and trays (PET/PE/EVOH/PE);
  • Multi-layer film (e.g. PET/PE/Alu/PE)
  • Opaque rigid container
  • PET Fines and dust
  • black PET trays
  • PET/PP strapping waste
  • Nonwoven fabric waste
  • POLYCOTTON (polyester/cotton)