ResolVe is a research and development project to explore the commercial use of post-consumer polystyrene waste as a raw material to produce high-quality plastics. The project addresses the technical feasibility and the conceptual layout of an entire recycling concept including contribution by recycling companies.
One method for chemical recycling of plastic waste is thermally induced depolymerisation. For polystyrene, this works better than for many other polymers. In this particular form of pyrolysis, the polymer is decomposed into monomers and other low molecular chemical building blocks. The monomers are then used to produce polymers that have identical properties to polymers from conventional feedstock. The so-called “downcycling”, that takes place in many currently used mechanical recycling processes, is therefore avoided.¹
¹A food contact quality mechanical recycling process for polystyrene is currently under development.