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A fully circular polyester chain with CuRe Technology

A new investment in low energy polyester recycling has been launched by Cumapol, DSM-Niaga, and Morssinkhof. There goal is to recycle used polyester waste streams in polyester suitable for high demanding applications like carpets, textile and food packaging. Realising low energy recycling for different polyester product waste streams is a major step towards a fully circular polyester chain. The partnership kicks-off with a pilot plant, to prove the technical and financial sustainability of a new technology for polyester recycling.

Colored and different polyester product waste streams

Existing polyester recycling techniques require a relatively clean waste stream of clear or light blue polyester bottles. For that reason colored polyesters or mixed polyesters (i.e. carpet, textile and food packaging) often lack the economic feasibility for recycling, and still end up at landfill or incineration. CuRe is a pilot plant that enables a continuous polyester recycling process for post consumer and post industry polyester waste streams – including packaging materials and textile products – and cleans the original plastic material from contaminants and color.

“The optimum utilisation of raw materials is an increasingly large challenge being faced by today’s society” says Mark Ruesink, innovation Director of Morssinkhof Plastics. “We are proud to announce that additional to our already successful Mopet® process we now take our next step with CuRe. This will allow us to reduce the polyester waste mountain even more than today possible.”

A circular polyester chain

Our CuRe Polyester Recycling Technology allows us to treat any type of used polyester, remove the color and turn it back into clear pellets with the same properties as virgin grade polyester. Used polyester recycled with the CuRe technology is food grade, and therefore it can be applied again in any typical polyester application. Products that are designed for recycling will lead to higher economic and ecological revenues.

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Pilot plant at Chemical Cluster Emmen

The pilot plant, located at the heart of an existing industrial site in Emmen, should be operational in the summer of 2019. It is our first step towards conversion of the existing / idle polymerization lines of Cumapol. The CuRe production lines will have a capacity of 25 kton per year. The pilot will clarify the requirements needed to scale up and supports the transitioning of the plastics industry into one that is restorative and regenerative by design.

“This partnership fits our strategy to take responsibility beyond the product design for recyclability.” According to Kelly Hall, Managing Director of DSM-Niaga. “DSM-Niaga is dedicated to contributing in key technology developments that further enhances the opportunities of local polyester recycling on a global scale.”

Other partners

Two Universities of Applied Science (NHL Stenden and Windesheim) and DuFor Polyester Specialties.

Marco Brons, Technical director of Cumapol: “We are very excited to have other companies invest in our expertise and co-develop the future of polyester upcycling. Since the plant will be installed in the Cumapol premises in Emmen, we will increase our capacity by another 25 kilotons. With that we also want to prove to the world the possibilities of large scale production of our CuRe technology.”

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