Report of the LIFE COLRECEPS Project in DICYT: Ibero-American Agency for the diffusion of science and technology.
The expanded polystyrene is used in several sectors, such as packaging and construction. In the case of packaging, it is very often that the EPS is used as a container for food due to its properties: hygienic, isolation, lightness and resistance. However, one of the main problems of this material is its recycling, as it is a plastic and it is not biodegradable.
Nowadays, it is only recovered the 50% of the EPS waste, which are sent to landfills or incinerated. With the purpose of giving value to these wastes and they can be reuse again in the industry, CARTIF, Turqueplast, Grupo el Arbol and Quercus IDI have started off the Project LIFE COLRECEPS.
The expanded polystyrene is made of pearls and a blowing agent (usually pentane). The aim is to collect the highest amount of EPS waste and fabricate new raw material. It is going to be made a mixture between physical and chemical recycling to generate new raw material with the same properties, with the purpose of reusing it and even adding new properties, such as the colour.
LIFE COLRECEPS was accepted in the LIFE+ call of 2012, with a budget near to the 1.2 millions of Euros. The pilot plant will have a capacity of 500 kg per day of EPS waste, which means 146 ton per year.
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