Today, a large volume of PET packaging cannot be recycled. For example, multilayer or coloured packaging is mainly incinerated or landfilled. In this way, CO2 is emitted and the material is lost as resource. RITTEC is addressing this problem: The basic technology brings the solvolysis reaction into a continuous and PET is being selectively depolymerised into its monomers. The monomers have virgin-like quality, and the resulting PET polymers have the same quality as the PET before recycling. The technology is fully implemented in a pilot plant.
RITTEC developed this technique in cooperation with the Institute of Chemical and Thermal Process Engineering, the Institute for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (both at TU Braunschweig), and the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology. Three other companies were also part of the cooperation.
The work of RITTEC mainly contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals 8, 9, 12 and 13.