The agreement combines GreenMantra’s new patent-pending process for converting waste polystyrene into useful polymers with Sun Chemical’s expertise in inks formulation. The goal is to develop sustainable styrenic polymers as a replacement for fossil fuel-based materials in certain ink applications.
“Our team of scientists has had great success in the lab applying our technology and process to achieve depolarization of waste polystyrene, both rigid and foam, into styrenic polymers suitable for inks and other applications,” said Domenic Di Mondo, GreenMantra’s senior director of research and business development. “We are looking forward to working with Sun Chemical’s experts to further refine these materials for commercial use.”
As part of the joint development project, GreenMantra will construct a pilot plant at its manufacturing complex in Brantford, Ontario, with an annual capacity of 1,000 metric tons. This will provide an ample supply of converted material for trialing in inks and other end-use applications and for initial commercial sales. Earlier this month, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) announced it was providing $2.2 million in funding toward construction of the pilot plant.
“This work is part of Sun Chemical’s ongoing efforts to develop new ink products that couple beneficial environmental profiles with improved performance,” said Russell Schwartz, CTO, Sun Chemical. “We believe these new polymers may provide enhanced physical properties in select ink applications, while diverting polystyrene from the waste stream.”
Polystyrene plastic in solid and foam form is commonly used in consumer products, food and product packaging and many other applications. It is one of the world’s fastest growing solid wastes, yet has one of the lowest recycling rates of all plastics with an estimated 95% either disposed of in landfills or incinerated.
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