SGL Group is official upcycling partner of Dyneon GmbH, a subsidiary of 3M Deutschland GmbH, and was awarded the upcycling signet 2017.
Dyneon GmbH, in collaboration with the University of Bayreuth and the InVerTec research institute, has developed an innovative process for the "upcycling" of perfluorinated polymer residues as part of a project funded by the German Federal Foundation for the Environment (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt). In a worldwide first, this new waste treatment technology enables environmentally friendly and sustainable recovery of raw materials, which are then used for the production of new materials. The award means that fluoropolymers from SGL Group are now approved for use in this recycling plant.
Resource-conserving management and the protection of the environment are important components of SGL Group's sustainable production process. The upcycling process saves raw materials and energy by converting old products into new ones at the end of their life cycle – and thus closes the recycling loop for fluoropolymers. "This represents a major breakthrough in the sustainability of these valuable high-tech materials, such as our PTFE materials. Not only are resources saved, but waste and emissions from disposal are also significantly reduced," explains Robert Meyer zu Westram, Product and Sales Manager at SGL Group.
The industry's first high-temperature upcycling facility is located in the Gendorf industrial park in Burgkirchen (Bavaria) and is based on a multi-phase pyrolysis process. Via pyrolysis, the perfluorinated "end-of-life" waste material is split back into monomers with a very high recovery rate of more than 90 percent. These are fed into the existing distillation plant and can be reused in normal production.
Proven and reliable fluoropolymer applications from SGL Group under the POLYFLURON® brand have long been established in chemical plant construction, where the material is used for lining corrosion-sensitive components, as well as other applications. In addition, POLYFLURON®, a PTFE fluoropolymer, is also employed in many other industries, for example as a highly effective plastic insulator in electrical equipment, in bellows for applications requiring very high flexural fatigue strength or when extremely high product purity is needed.