The collaborative ISOPREP Project, of which TWI is a partner, has moved into a new stage of work. The project is working to develop an innovative alternative to disposing of polypropylene products into landfill by creating a method to recycle this material.
An oil-derived polymer, Polypropylene is the world’s second-most widely used commodity polymer. It can be found in products including food packaging, carpets, electronics, automobile interiors, pipes, home furnishings and even banknotes. Despite the widespread use, only 1% of polypropylene products are currently recycled, with the rest going to landfill and polluting the environment.
The ISOPREP Project aims to use solvents to recycle these complex products, with a particular focus on carpet feedstock, back into virgin quality polypropylene. This is to be achieved by exploiting a novel patented ionic solvent to selectively solubilise the polypropylene so that it can be reused elsewhere.