Due to their nature, household waste, supermarket and agricultural film or similar sources place high demands on the recycling process. The quality of the recycled pellets depends largely on the gentle treatment of the melt and the effective removal of impurities. EREMA has developed the new INTAREMA® TVEplus® DuaFil® Compact to meet such challenges. The recycling machine manufacturer will present the system at the NPE from May 6 to 10, 2024. Another highlight: the ReFresher technology for odour-optimized and food-safe polyolefin regranulates has now reached a total capacity of one million tonnes per year worldwide.

Robert Wahlmüller, CEO at EREMA North America, is delighted with the opening of the expanded technical center: “We can now offer our customers an even more extensive test environment and demonstrate our machines and technologies.” (Photo: EREMA GmbH)

“The potential for plastics recycling in the Americas is enormous,” says Robert Wahlmüller, CEO of EREMA North America in the run-up to NPE 2024. “Our order books are well filled. We are confident about the new financial year that has just started.” The company will be placing a special focus on the INTAREMA® series at its trade fair stand. With this, EREMA offers a broad portfolio for the post-consumer sector. The INTAREMA® TVEplus® DuaFil® Compact double filtration system, which will be presented for the first time at the K trade fair in Düsseldorf in 2022, is the benchmark for recycling challenging materials with a high degree of contamination and moisture, such as film waste with paper labels from commercial waste, agricultural film or washed film from household waste. “The INTAREMA® TVEplus® DuaFil® Compact is our energy-saving innovation with safe and particularly high degassing and filtration performance. We are now presenting this high-throughput and compact system live to the American public at NPE 2024,” says Wahlmüller.

A key feature of the system is the consistently gentle treatment of the melt throughout the entire process. This is the result of combining the proven TVEplus® technology with the new DuaFil® Compact design. Thanks to the compact arrangement, the extruder screw is 10 L/D (length-to-diameter ratio) shorter compared to the previous EREMA double filtration solution, whereby the discharge metering zone is no longer required. The melt is thus processed more gently overall, also because the pressure build-up for the second filtration unit is carried out by a special melt pump. “Our DuaFil® Compact technology decouples pressure and temperature build-up, which reduces the overall melt temperature and the highest temperature occurs in the “plus zone” of the extruder before degassing,” explains Clemens Kitzberger, Business Development Manager of the PostConsumer application at the EREMA Group. This increases the degassing volume by up to 33 percent, while at the same time reducing retention time and energy consumption. “This new development is based on feedback from the market, including from American customers,” emphasizes Kitzberger.

In the recycling application of DSD 323-2 (flexible PE and PP household waste), for example, the new INTAREMA® 1108 TVEplus® DuaFil® Compact achieves a mass temperature upstream of the second filter unit that is around 22 degrees Celsius lower, as well as around 11 percent lower overall energy consumption (specific energy consumption kWh/kg) and around 14 percent higher throughput compared to the previous EREMA solution.

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INTAREMA® TVEplus® DuaFil® Compact in use in Chile

Since K 2022, EREMA has sold around 20 INTAREMA® TVEplus® DuaFil® Compact systems. The first machines have been delivered and are now in use. For example at RECUPAC S.A., a recycling and waste disposal company based in Chile.

“As the waste management business unit of Coipsa, a Chilean packaging group integrated in all phases of the circular economy, we process more than 150,000 tons of different materials per year,” says Philippe Morizon, General Manager at RECUPAC. Plastics recycling is a young field for the company. The decision for the first machine was made in favor of an INTAREMA® 1512 TVEplus® DuaFil® Compact. The aim is to produce high-quality recycled pellets in film quality. “Our customers have very high quality requirements, which is why we opted for a system from EREMA,” emphasizes Morizon. “With this compact recycling machine, we can produce high-quality pellets that are used in films and other applications in the packaging sector. There were many arguments in favor of this machine, including its high overall efficiency. In particular, the low energy consumption and the high degree of automation, which allows us to save on operating personnel, were important factors. I am confident that we will meet the high demands of our customers – the initial results are very promising.”

RECUPAC also has a Lindner washing system in operation. Since August last year, the EREMA Group has bundled its expertise with the waste management specialist in a newly founded holding company. The aim of the two companies is to increase energy efficiency in the overall process and further improve recyclate quality through technical cooperation.

EREMA enables recycling of challenging film waste

Film recycling, especially of supermarket film (98/2), is well established in North America and is also gaining importance in South America. Thanks to the polymer-friendly processing and high filtration performance of INTAREMA® TVEplus® DuaFil® Compact, the recyclates are ideal for reuse in films. EREMA achieves a recycled content of 30 percent for stretch film with a thickness of 8 micrometers (µm) and 50 percent for shrink film.

One area that is currently growing in the USA is the recycling of agricultural film. The producers take the films back after use, recycle them and return them to production. The demand for technologies for processing heavily printed films is also increasing. Both applications are challenging: agricultural film is typically heavily contaminated, for example with sand, stones or organic foreign matter, and printing inks often penetrate the recycled material during the melting process. The INTAREMA® TVEplus® DuaFil® Compact provides the necessary high degassing performance for excellent results in such applications, while at the same time ensuring a very efficient process. When recycling agricultural film, for example, EREMA was able to achieve savings of 20 degrees Celsius in the melt temperature and 9 percent in energy consumption. At the same time, throughput increased by 11 percent.

Odour-optimized and food-safe polyolefins: one million tons of capacity

EREMA launched the ReFresher for the production of odour-optimized recycled pellets at K 2016. ReFreshers with a total capacity of 1,000,000 tons per year are now in use worldwide for film and regrind applications. In combination with the INTAREMA® TVEplus®, the anti-odour system opens up completely new application possibilities for recyclates, for example in high-quality end products, such as in the home, automotive and lifestyle sectors, or for the processing of food-safe polyolefin regranulates (HDPE, LDPE and PP). The process has been classified by an American food safety authority as suitable for recycling the recyclate for the production of food packaging.

EREMA bottle-to-bottle recycling: large-scale systems from a single source

EREMA also offers the right solution for the production of food-safe rPET pellets with its VACUREMA® and VACUNITE® systems. “Think big and safe” – that’s the message to our bottle-to-bottle recycling customers,” says Christoph Wöss, Business Development Manager for the Bottle application at the EREMA Group. In this context, he points out that customers can now obtain complete systems including SSP post-treatment directly from EREMA, which produce up to 5,500 kilograms of food-safe rPET pellets per hour.

More space for experiments in the extended technical center

In spring, EREMA North America opened its expanded customer technology center. The area has grown to around 2,000 square meters and new equipment has been purchased. “In the technical center at our site in Ipswich, we offer our customers the opportunity to get to know and test products and technologies in a practical environment,” explains Robert Wahlmüller. The technical center is equipped with an INTAREMA® TVEplus® DuaFil Compact® and a ReFresher. Customers can also use the mobile ReFresher for tests directly in their production facilities. There is also an INTAREMA® K for film edge trims and off-spec material as well as a flexible R&D system that can be operated in the INTAREMA® T, TE and TVEplus® versions with laser and backflush filters and various pelletizing methods for different applications. A team of process technicians is available as a contact for trials. “We demonstrate the handling and show customers which machine solution is best suited to their material,” says Wahlmüller. On average, there are two tests per week.

Cover photo: The new INTAREMA® TVEplus® DuaFil® Compact is significantly shorter than the previous EREMA double filtration solution. The pioneering recycling technology protects the melt and saves melt temperature and energy. (Photo: EREMA GmbH)