One of the key options for dealing with the growing volumes of end of life construction PS foam waste streams in the decades to come is the closed-loop recycling of PS foam waste.
1. Demolition and pretreatment
EPS and XPS is used as insulation material in building ensuring climate control and saving energy. The average life span of a building is about 70 years. Once a building is demolished or renovated PS-foam demolition waste is generated. This waste is collected separately at the demolition site and then transferred to a collection point (HUB) for further treatment.
The HUB ensures that the PS-foam demolition waste collected from the demolition site is pre-treated. This includes sorting out of any unwanted impurities. As PS-foam is a very light weight material the waste is then compacted to optimise storage and the transportation to PolyStyreneLoop.
Interested to know more about the supply of PS-foam demolition waste? – Please contact us!
2. The creasolv process
PolyStyreneLoop is based on the CreaSolv® Technology: a Solvent-based Purification process (developed by Fraunhofer IVV in cooperation with CreaCycle GmbH), allowing the separation of polystyrene from legislated HBCD. HBCD is further treated in the Bromine Recovery Unit from ICL.
CreaSolv® is a registered trademark of CreaCycle GmbH. In the CreaSolv® Process first the PS-foam demolition waste is dissolved in tanks containing a PS-specific liquid. The solid impurities (dirt, cement and the like) are separated through filtration and then incinerated. Next, another liquid is added, which transforms the PS into a gel, while the additive (HBCD) stays in the remaining liquid. The PS gel is then separated from the process liquids. Once cleaned, this gel is transferred into granulated polymer and the liquid, together with the additive, is distilled and re-used in a closed loop. The HBCD remain in the sludge treated in the Bromine Recovery Unit (BRU).
3. bromine recovery at icl
The destruction of the HBCD additive that stayed in the sludge takes place in a high temperature waste incineration: the Bromine Revovery Unit (BRU) from ICL. During the last step the elemental bromine is recovered and can be re-used to produce new polymeric flame retardants to be applied in insulation products made from Loop-PS.