Mexican startup AK Inovex has developed a new green technology that recycles plastic sans water, thereby producing plastic pellets of equal or better quality through a more environmentally friendlier and cost-effective process.
Traditional plastic recycling processes involves a lot of water being wasted. In order to avoid such wastages, AK Inovex’s technology doesn’t require liquids and has the capacity to process materials such as styrofoam, polystyrene and ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) using the same type of customizable machinery used in conventional recycling processes.
The novel technology developed by Marco Adame – founder of Ak Inovex – can process more than 90 percent of any type of plastic, avoids water waste and reduces production costs by half without reducing the quality of the pellets, reports Investigación y Desarrollo.
A regular recycling process involves washing plastic containers before then grinding them into beads. As plastic is hygroscopic in its nature, it retains moisture upon contacting with water. In order to be dehydrated, the plastic has to be crystallised using the application of heat at a temperature of 180ºC, before then being cooled by water.
In contrast, the AK Inovex technology performs this process and produces recycled beads without using water. This results in reducing the energy consumption by half and also reduces the physical space required to carry out the process in due to its compact design. In addition, obtaining pellets of a superior quality increases the profitability of the recycling process.
The company also says that the technology is advantageous because it can process any type of plastic. This is achieved by incorporating a special piece for each type of material in the mechanism. The new mechanism is said to produce two tons of plastic beads, but the team is working on upping that to 10 tons, Adame disclosed.
Over the course of the next year, the company said that it want to add an ecological washing machine for plastics that uses a special biodetergent, which will further reduce the cost of the operations. These announcements were made by Adame during the 2014 Cleantech Challenge Mexico, a contest design to promote the development of green companies in that country.
During that event, he said that his company had gotten in contact with the ALINSA group, a manufacturer of environmentally friendly cleaning products using biodegradable chemicals. The two companies will reportedly join forces on developing an ecological washing machine system that uses degradable plastic substances as a replacement for lye.
Originally published by Investigación y Desarrollo; image by invdes