By ICN GroupChemical, June 30, 2020

BASF starts pilot tests on developing chemical recycling process for used mattresses

BASF’s process breaks down the flexible polyurethane and delivers the initially used polyol.

BASF has developed a chemical recycling process for used mattresses and is starting pilot tests at the Schwarzheide site in Brandenburg, Germany.
 
The materials from old mattresses are to be recycled so they can be used for the production of new mattresses.
 
“The target is to recover the raw materials with a quality comparable to that of non-recycled/virgin raw materials”, says Shankara Keelapandal, Business Management Isocyanates Europe.
 
“The project is technically complex, but the potential to reduce waste volumes and save resources makes it all worth it.”
 
BASF says in doing so it is breaking new ground and responding to the raised expectations regarding sustainability of the foam and mattress industry as well as those of consumers.
 
BASF’s process breaks down the flexible polyurethane and delivers the initially used polyol. From there BASF can produce new foam with a lower carbon footprint, because fewer fossil resources are used.
 
“It makes projects of that nature quite attractive because, while mattresses are easy to collect and to sort out, at the end of their lifecycle they currently end up being either incinerated or in a landfill,” explains technical project manager Arno Volkmann.
 
First volumes of the recycled material will be delivered to project partners later this year to develop pilot projects together.

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