The new pilot plant integrates seamlessly onsite into Dyneon’s existing fluoropolymer production lines and employs pyrolysis to decompose perfluorinated polymers, recovering gaseous monomers, which are cleaned prior to feeding them back into the manufacture of new materials.
“The Up-Cycling facility and process will abruptly change the way all of us think and do things. Now, what was once regarded as a useless waste stream or at best a by-product with little utility is a valuable material,” states Dr. Klaus Hintzer, idea owner and Corporate Scientist at 3M and adds “the challenges to build this pilot facility were huge, but the benefits are even greater”. A successful implementation of the process technology is an important step in closing the fluoropolymer loop which is vital to progress and to the environment.
Waiting to be processed on the facility’s premises right now are End-of-Life fluoropolymer materials from Dyneon and Dyneon’s customers. Initially, the plant will process fully fluorinated polymers such as PTFE, PFA and FEP, but the second phase will target polymer compounds containing fillers.