Post Consumer Mattress Recycling Technology
H&S introduces technology for post-consumer mattresses recycling
The Sulingen-based German company H & S Anlagentechnik GmbH announced that it has developed an innovative technology and reactor installation for the chemical conversion of polyurethane foam out of post-consumer mattresses into high quality polyols for application in rigid PU foams.
Mattresses are not bio-degradable, which makes it very difficult to recycle them in a conventional way, says the company. With up to 30 million mattresses annually reaching their end-of-life in the European Union, it is estimated that 60 % go to landfill under the common designation “Bulky Waste” and 40 % are incinerated, which is quite an expensive procedure, says H & S.
According to the company, its technology is based on an optimised acidolysis method and enables the generation of high-grade recovered polyols, which can substitute up to 50 % of the original polyol without compromising the physical and mechanical properties of the final product. This was already tested on a continuous lamination line of one of the European producers of insulation panels, says H & S.
In contrast to previously known methods, polyols generated with the H&S technology are said to have good reactivity and do not contain any hazardous primary aromatic amines. The manufacturing costs of the recovered polyol are said to be approximately 35 % lower than the market price of the original polyols.
The industrial installation comprises the reactor, storage and conveying facilities for the solid and liquid input materials as well as recovered polyol and is designed to generate approximately 2,500 t of polyol per year.
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