Ink removal in plastics recycling plants

Sorema, Hall 2.1 Booth C74

Inks and coatings play a crucial role in packaging but pose challenges in transforming packaging waste into a valuable resource. The growing demand for high-quality recycled materials underscores the need for efficient ink removal processes in recycling plants.

Sorema has introduced a de-inking process upstream of extrusion, ensuring minimal ink residues in recycled materials. This advanced washing system, developed by the company, combines several factors. These include the feeding of the incoming material with volumetric or gravimetric dosage, the controlled and independent dosage of chemical additives and a high friction of the material in hot water with a defined residence time adjustable to each specific inks and material. In this way, customers have the opportunity to wash rigid and flexible plastic materials on a single plant.

The recycling process is then completed by one or more rinsing and drying phases of the flakes, before an eventual extrusion into granules. The de-inking process, primarily applied to post-industrial waste, is being explored for post-consumer waste recycling plants.

The company’s laboratory in Alzate Brianza offers testing facilities for customers to validate the process with their products and optimise chemical formulations and washing times. These tests can also be completed with the “in-house” extrusion phase to verify the achieved results.

Sorema provides complete turnkey washing and recycling plants, managing all stages of the process, including wastewater treatment. Collaborating with sister company Teknodepurazioni Aquae, Sorema offers integrated solutions for wastewater treatment, incorporating mechanical filtration processes with high-speed centrifuges, sedimentation with chemical adjuvants and purification with ozone and activated carbon treatments.