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LANXESS developed black pigment for coloring recyclable plastic packaging

September 27/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LANXESS has developed a black pigment for coloring recyclable plastic packaging, said the company.

This enables plastics to be identified efficiently and cost-effectively with the aid of NIR detectors like those used for sorting waste. Plastic packaging colored with carbon black, on the other hand, as is used in large part today, does not reflect any radiation and therefore cannot be detected in sorting plants, says Bartolucci.

Properly separating waste and producing recycling materials that are separated according to type is expensive. It is difficulties in sorting waste that are currently causing the recycling rate of plastic to remain far too low worldwide. Composite materials and black plastic are particularly difficult to sort, as are foils that are glued together or small transparent trays made from PET. The LANXESS pigment Bayferrox 303 T can make a decisive contribution to recycling black plastic packaging.

In automated recycling plants, near-infrared detection (NIR spectroscopy) is used to quickly sort plastic waste into different types. To this end, infrared cameras are installed above the conveyor belts in most cases. However, black plastic packaging such as foils cannot be identified correctly by the optical sensors due to its color and consequently cannot be sorted. Unlike the carbon black pigments often used in the plastics industry, Bayferrox 303 T reflects infrared radiation, thus allowing identification with the aid of NIR detectors. As a result, black plastic items such as packaging films or trays can be better identified with the iron-manganese mixed oxide and sent for recycling.

Nowadays, three types of pigments are principally used to color plastic packaging. In terms of quantity, carbon black is the pigment most frequently used for black packaging materials, as it is available at low cost on the market and exhibits high color strength. But it does not reflect infrared radiation and items made with it remain virtually invisible in sorting plants. Thus large quantities of plastic packaging cannot be sent for recycling.

The reduced magnetic properties of Bayferrox 303 T make it ideal for coloring plastic packaging. Magnetizable pigments can trigger false alarms during quality control processes in the food industry, for example, disrupting production as a result. After all, metal detectors cannot distinguish between pigments and pieces of metal in an edible item. This is why metal contaminants must be avoided in both the masterbatch and the packaging.

As per MRC, LANXESS is continuing the systematic expansion of its production for synthetic iron oxide pigments. The company is the only supplier worldwide to produce these pigments using the Laux process. Specialty chemicals company LANXESS has expanded its capacity for black synthetic iron oxide pigments at its Krefeld-Uerdingen site by more than 5,000 metric tons per year.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, the deficit for PET remained in the Russian domestic and foreign markets. Spot PET prices have been increasing since the beginning of the month, and spot buyers of the material have to pay a much higher price for PET chips at the end of the third quarter than contractual ones.

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 6.1 billion in 2020. The company currently has about 14,800 employees in 33 countries. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, additives, specialty chemicals and plastics. LANXESS is listed in the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World and Europe) and FTSE4Good.


mrcplast.com
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:PET-granulate, compounding, compounds, recikling, PET bottles, PET preforms, Lanxess.
Category:General News
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