Innovation Team Best Practices 2023
MMAtwo developed a new value chain for PMMA waste and a new technology to process different types of PMMA waste, including the most challenging waste, into high quality regenerated monomer. The value chain and technology were developed over the course of 4 years and 6 trial campaigns, bringing the technology to a Technology Readiness Level 7. PMMA production waste and PMMA EoL waste was identified and collected by Heathland in collaboration with Groupe Comet, Ecologic, Arkema, Trinseo and Certech. Special focus was on challenging PMMA waste, including glass fibre wastes, EoL wastes (PMMA LCD and PMMA carlight), PMMA/PVC waste and PMMA with additives. Certech and Heathland made industry guidelines to help suppliers identify waste and maximise its value. MSDS and SDS were made for rMMA (crude and refined) and purified PMMA.
Heathland processed PMMA waste through automated pre-treatment equipment which purifies PMMA waste before depolymerisation. Pre-treated waste was sent to Arkema, Certech, and JSW Europe for analysis and trials. The separated fibres from the process were used by Delta Plados in the production of kitchen sinks.
JSW Europe assembled the extruder for depolymerization. Downstream processing equipment was developed by Suster, Arkema and Heathland. The equipment was upgraded after each campaign. 6 successful campaigns were executed producing significant amounts of regenerated MMA.
Research on MMA purity, CO2 emissions, energy consumption and water consumption was performed by Arkema benchmarking alternative depolymerisation systems. Together with data by Quantis this resulted in an LCA certifying the environmental benefits of MMAtwo versus virgin MMA production and alternative technologies.
High purity regenerated MMA was produced by Speichim which converted crude MMA into refined MMA through various purification steps. The rMMA was used by Delta Glass, Delta Plados, Arkema, Procoat and Trinseo in various products as an alternative to virgin MMA. Different application fields were successfully tried. Certech did extensive testing on rMMA odor issues. The design was further detailed by PDC and a technoeconomic assessment was completed.
UGent provided modelling for the MMAtwo technology to optimize the process. UGent also organized the project dissemination activities such as several events, scientific publications and a book. Benkei managed the project from beginning to end.
Polymer circularity roadmap: Recycling of poly(methyl methacrylate) as a case study, Dagmar R. D’hooge, Yoshi W. Marien, Jean-Luc Dubois (Eds.), De Gruyter 2022, ISBN: 978-3-11-071649-8
Currently, large amounts of plastic waste are incinerated or landfilled, despite the existence of several recycling routes. In this book, a roadmap is provided to increase the amount of recycled plastic waste. Focus is on poly(methyl methacrylate), PMMA, which is used for optical, electronic, composite and coating applications. The entire recycling chain, from collection of plastic waste, to recycling, purification and repolymerization of regenerated monomers, and end-user applications, is covered.
Click on the image to watch the project results video
MMAtwo aims to secure the supply of commercial plant recycling units with at least 27 000 tons feedstocks PMMA scraps and end-of-life products.
If you have PMMA waste to valorize, please use the contact form, and indicate how many tons per year you would be able to supply.
The MMAtwo Project aims at constructing a novel and fast growing PolyMethylMethAcrylate (PMMA) recycling value chain based on the production of « Second Generation MethylMethAcrylate (MMA) » from post-consumer and post-industrial PMMA based products.
It is funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (project Number 820687)
The main goal for the MMAtwo project is to create a new value chain for PMMA depolymerization. This four-year European project comprises 13 partners from six different countries representing all the stages of the PMMA value chain. MMAtwo partners have mobilized € 8.9 M, including a €6.6 M funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program centered on three priorities: scientific excellence, industrial primacy, and societal issues.