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RE: [greenyes] new PET bottle recycling method ?

Forwarded from a chemist friend -

"I think the term "chemically decomposes" is wrong, since that implies that
molecules are being broken down -- it sounds more like a solvation process,
where they use a solvent to selectively dissolve the PET, and probably a
second solvent to extract any of the non-polymer contaminants. Easily done,
probably less energy consumption, all you need is the proper equiment to
handle the liquid process and control the solvent emissions."

Anne Morse
Winona, MN

-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Lombardi [mailto:eric@no.address]
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 5:31 PM
To: 'GRRN list serve'
Subject: [greenyes] new PET bottle recycling method ?

Does anyone know anything about this?

Teijin Fibers Develops Process for Closed-Loop PET Resin. The Japanese
manufacturing company, Teijin Fibers, Ltd., has successfully developed a
practical process that chemically decomposes used polyethylene terephthalate
(PET) bottles and converts them into recycled PET bottles that can be used
as beverage containers. In conventional PET recycling, used bottles are
melted to produce resin and reformed into other products such as trays,
sheeting which do not require high transparency. The new process dissolves
recovered PET down to the molecular level and refines it to yield a highly
pure raw material for PET resin equivalent to that produced directly from
petroleum. Teijin plans to produce 50,000 tons of recycled resin from
62,000tons of used PET bottles (equivalent to 2 billion 500 ml PET bottles)
annually. This complete system will reduce petroleum consumption and
eliminate the current need for PET bottle incineration, reducing carbon
dioxide emissions in the process. (JFS Digest, April 26, 2004,

Eric Lombardi
Executive Director
Eco-Cycle, Inc

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