Zeus Industrial Products Inc., a polymer tubing manufacturer headquartered in Orangeburg, has developed a new biopolymer recycling technology it says will save money and increase sustainability.
The process involves the recycling of popular biopolymer polylactic acid, or PLA. Among the first commercially produced bioplastics, PLA is widely used in industries including food packaging, drug delivery and agriculture.
Compared to current recycling options, the process developed by Zeus “requires a significantly lower investment” by manufacturers licensing the chemical technology, the company said in a news release, and allows customers to “focus on forward-looking products that support sustainable programs and economic viability.”
The new process, which uses a low temperature mild reaction scheme with high recovery of PLA monomer and oligomer units, is also highly amenable to industrial- or medical-grade PLA, Zeus said. The mild conditions of the process require no reactant pressure vessels.
“Over the past 10 years, Zeus has expanded its interest into bioabsorbable polymer technologies,” said Bruce Anneaux, corporate director of research and development. “We have introduced a process that makes this market even more attractive. Using novel technology to recover PLA from a mixed-waste stream, Zeus’ new process provides an economically advantageous and environmentally friendly solution.”