Closed Loop London has expanded its recycling capacity for food grade HDPE to 4,800 kg/h in total employing an expansion line supplied by the companies B+B Anlagenbau and EREMA. The two companies provided already the know-how and equipment when Closed Loop London began producing food contact grade HDPE from transparent bottle material back in 2008.
The processing steps comprise Dry cleaning – Air classification – Hot wash – Sink float separation– Mechanical drying from B+B and subsequent extrusion with upstream decontamination from EREMA. The basic principle of this concept is to treat the regrind material in a dry state as long as possible while it is in the process. This means that expensive resources such as water can be saved and no elaborate plant engineering is required for processing.
The core component of the washing facility is the hot wash which removes any unwanted elements such as stickers or adhesives from the regrind material. This particular application also features the removal of milk residues and the associated odours as a crucial part of the cleaning process. The hot wash system works continuously and is fully automatic to ensure maximum availability and minimum maintenance intervals. In the subsequent extrusion process food contact grade HDPE regrind material is made on two VACUREMA Advanced 1716 TE systems which is then reused in the production of milk bottles.
In general, an increasing number of companies are now looking into the possibility to produce odourless recycled pellets. In the USA, for example, polyolefin repellets are already being used in the washing detergent and cosmetics industries. B+B has commissioned hot wash systems of this kind for HDPE around the world with an annual capacity already in the region of 90,000 t.