Separation of Post-Consumer PET and PVC Plastics in the Regrind Flake Form

EPA Contract Number: 68D30104
Title: Separation of Post-Consumer PET and PVC Plastics in the Regrind Flake Form
Investigators: Sommer, Edward J.
Small Business: National Recovery Technologies Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1993 through March 1, 1994
Project Amount: $49,903
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1993) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , SBIR - Waste , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


The last three years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of companies processing post-consumer plastics from products such as soft drink containers, detergent bottles, milk jugs and water bottles. While this has to some extent diverted these materials from landfills, it has caused an economic anomaly. The high costs of manually sorting the plastics so they can be reprocessed makes them unattractive to most processors resulting in an oversupply which drives the price of recycled resins below the cost of production expenses. Processors are increasingly turning to automated sortation technology as a means of cutting costs. National Recovery Technologies, Inc., has developed and successfully commercialized a system for automatically sorting PVC and PET bottles. This system routinely produces a PET product with less than 50 ppm PVC contamination. While this level is adequate for processors at this time, it is predicted that the purity specification will drop to 5 to 10 ppm in the near future. Therefore, a secondary sortation system will be necessary to detect and remove residual PVC. Residual PVC is present due to bottle cap liners, shrink labels and PVC bottle pieces broken during handling which are too small to detect with existing technology. This proposal seeks to design, test and begin commercialization of a secondary sortation system for handling post consumer plastic flake to meet the demanding standards of plastic processors. This system will greatly improve the quality of the product while reducing costs resulting in an overall increase in plastic recycling.

Supplemental Keywords:

Scientific Discipline, Waste, Sustainable Industry/Business, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Municipal, Technology for Sustainable Environment, New/Innovative technologies, Engineering, Hazardous, hazardous waste disposal, municipal waste plastics, plastic flake, recycled plastics, hazardous waste recycling, plastics sorting, recycled waste products, PET, municipal waste, hazardous waste, sorting system, pollution control, recycling, plastic, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), plastics, plastic resins, automated seperation, pollution prevention, polyvinly chloride

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final
  • SBIR Phase II:

    Separation of Post-Consumer PET and PVC Plastics in the Regrind Flake Form