Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 27

inside at... Domo Chemicals
Committing to the
circular economy
Like so many other material
manufacturers today, Domo
is well aware of the need for
change and is taking steps to
transition to more sustainable
operating processes. For this
reason, the company has undertaken
by 2030 to achieve
neutral emissions growth versus
2019, a 15% reduction in
the carbon content of the company's
energy mix and a 7%
reduction of industrial waste.
Ultimately, the aim is to become
climate neutral by 2050.
The company has also
pledged to help its customers
fulfil their sustainability goals
by off ering an enhanced range
of sustainable solutions, in the
shape of a 20% increase in sustainable
applications; a 20% reduction
in the carbon footprint
of its products and an increase
of circular solutions by 50%. It
is already reducing the footprint
of its polymers by producing
more eff iciently with less energy
consumption.
Today, just 26% of all plastic
is recovered at the end of life in
Europe, with the rest ending up
in landfills or being incinerated.
Some 25 million tonnes of plastic
are lost.
According to Bouchra Caret
rhers, it's definitely an industry
challenge to recover this material
and to make it valuable
again. As she pointed out: " Of
course it is a common theme
now, and everyone is talking
about it. We see more and more
action in our industry, but as
the polyamide business is so
specific, we have decided to
commit to this and play a role
in the circular economy when it
comes to nylon. "
That role today is already one
as a player in post-industrial recycling.
Domo recycles production
waste fibres and films from
other industries, which are then
incorporated into its own production.
The company has developed
two polyamide brands,
Econamid and Technyl4Earth,
both of which are derived from
post-industrial waste, and plans
to continue to build on these
solutions. The two product ranges
have diff erent production processes,
but off er more or less the
same environmental benefit.
" The next steps will be to
recover post-consumer waste
- products coming from the
end of life - which means we
are also looking at technical
solutions such as chemical recycling
to make this possible, "
said Bouchra.
Part of this journey, she said,
is to develop technology to separate
the glass from reinforced
nylon in order to make the reuse
of both materials possible.
" We are always investing in new
possibilities. I would say that
the main challenge for us in the
next coming years is to increase
the source and the feedstock of
these materials. "
Sustainable polyamide
One of the main diff erence
between the two brands of
sustainable polyamide developed
by Domo, Econamid and
Technyl4Earth, is the source of
the feedstock.
Technyl4Earth is based on
airbag fabrics. These contain
a small quantity of silicone,
which must be separated from
the polymer.
" Because of this, Technyl
4Earth is produced via a combination
of mechanical and physical
recycling. The physical part
is the separation process of the
fibres from the silicone, " said
Leonardo Comperatore.
On the other hand, Econamid
is produced from mechanically
recycled fibres derived from
yarn production. The yarn is collected,
treated and re-extruded,
mainly into PA6 but also into
some PA 66 polymer.
" It is not a new activity for us, "
added Leonardo, the company's
Econamid expert. " We started
reusing recycled material from
the textile industry 20 years ago,
and it is this 20 years of experience
that has allowed us to become
leading in this area. Arco is
the main plant where the Econamid
range is produced, which
amounts to almost one-third of
our total production. "
The long-time experience in
managing secondary material
together with the specific process
technology developed,
is evident in the results. The
plant at Arco produces around
30 thousand tonnes of material
annually. " We take in around
ten thousand tonnes of this raw
Leonardo Comperatore
material, which means a third of
our total production is based on
recycled raw material, " he noted.
Moreover, Domo has run an
LCA for both Technyl4Earth and
Econamid. These studies showed
that the production and delivery
to the customer of 1 kg of aluminium
generated up to 12 kg of CO2
emissions, compared to 5.5 kg
for virgin polyamide grades. " For
some Econamid grades, we measured
1,2 kg of CO2 emission and
even lower, " he said.
The Econamid range is quite
a diversified one, said Elisabetta.
Econamid Air is one of
the latest innovations: both the
polymer and the carbon fibre
filler are derived from recycled
waste, making this a product
that is based on 100% recycled
materials. An additional property
is its electrical conductivity,
which makes it suitable for
applications where electrical
charges need to be released.
Econamid AIR has a CO2 emission
level of about 1,8kg, far below
that of a virgin carbon fibre
alternative product, which can
reach levels of above 15kg of
CO2 emission per kg produced.
" However, we also customise
a lot, developing special grades
for specific customer needs
based on their requirements
and final applications and we
are also starting to develop special
fire retardant grades based
on halogen-free fire retardants
for the electric and electronic
industry, " she said.
No compromise on
performance
With products based on recycled
raw materials, the main
concern, next to a constant supply,
is
a consistent high quality.
" There are two main mechanical
properties that are important
in many applications, including
those in which our materials
are used, and those are stress at
break and notch toughness. One
relates to the tensile resistance
and the other to the impact resistance, "
explained Leonardo.
Tests for these allow comparisons
to be made between the
properties of prime-based products
and the company's recycled-based
products.
" We saw no deviations that
were out of our specification.
This was confirmed by another
study where we measured
the quality consistency lot by
lot, once again comparing the
prime-based product and the
recycled-based product. We
can see that lot by lot, the variation
and the fluctuation of the
diff erent properties are at the
same level as prime, or just a
little less, as it is a diff erent process
- but that the materials
can still fulfil the specifications
for many high-demanding applications, "
he said.
Domo, he added, off ers materials
with a performance that
is similar to prime, certainty
of supply and scalability - the
company aims to increase the
production volume of these
products in the near future.
" Today we produce around 10
thousand tonnes of these materials
, but we will develop more
- we are working on that right
now, " he said. " The demand is
there and increasing rapidly. "
Automotive is a focus
That demand is especially evident
in the automotive industry,
where the need for recycled-based
materials is clear.
This growth in demand is
mainly because of the numerous
target set by automakers,
including PSA, Renault and
Volvo, pledging to use a certain
percentage of recycled content
in their cars.
" So, today, what in the past
was considered low-value
material has been re-valued,
and as a company that historically
has been developing
these products, we are seeing
a growing potential, " said Elisabetta.
" The diff erent kinds
of mobility also look highly
continued on page 28
May/June 2021
27

Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021

Contents
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - Cover1
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - Cover2
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - Contents
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 4
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 5
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 6
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 7
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 8
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 9
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 10
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 11
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 12
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 13
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 14
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 15
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 16
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 17
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 18
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 19
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 20
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 21
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 22
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 23
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 24
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 25
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 26
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 27
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 28
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 29
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 30
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 31
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 32
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 33
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - 34
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - Cover3
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2021 - Cover4
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