Meet the Partners: Fraunhofer

Fraunhofer is Europe’s leading application-oriented research organization. Our research efforts are geared entirely to people’s needs: health, security, communication, energy and the environment. Research and development activities are conducted by 72 institutes. Fraunhofer IVV is the branch institute for process engineering and packaging. Its work encompasses five business fields: Food, Packaging, Product Performance, Processing Machinery, and Recycling and Environment.

The business field Recycling and Environment is committed to the targets of circular economy on the one hand and safe waste treatment in compliance with legislation on hazardous chemicals (RoHS, REACh, GHS) on the other hand. Fraunhofer IVV is currently working on innovative plastic recycling technologies applicable to waste streams from the electronic, automotive and textile sector but also – of course –from End of life plastics packaging. In the center of our activities stands the CreaSolv® [1]Process, a physical recycling process capable of recycling polymers from mixed or contaminated waste streams as well as from composites. This process is currently investigated in 8 European and 9 National R&D projects, first industrial scale CreaSolv® plants are being built.

Decoating of plastic parts and textiles is key for high level recycling of composite materials as coatings hinder identification/automated sorting of plastics and hamper the quality of recycled materials if they are not swell eparated in the course of recycling. Thus, DEOCAT is an important project to increase recycling volumes and to improve qualities of recycled plastics from WEEE, ELV and waste textiles. Fraunhofer IVV’s part in DECOAT comprises testing of the CreaSolv® Process to dissolve the coating material from matrix polymers and to upscale and implement the technology in a demonstrator.  Furthermore, IVV will work on markers for core shell triggers that will be introduced to novel coating systems. The aim is that these markers help identifying the core and/or shell thickness and supports later quality assessment.

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[1] CreaSolv® is a registered trademark of the company Creacycle GmbH, Grevenbroich, Germany.