Coperion Supplies Twin Screw Extruder to Ghent University
Coperion is supplying an extrusion system to Ghent University in Belgium for comprehensive research and development tasks in chemical recycling of mixed plastic waste. The company designed this laboratory system, built upon a ZSK 18 MEGAlab twin screw extruder, especially for chemical recycling of post-consumer waste within a throughput range of 1-10 kg per hour. Along with the extruder, it includes a feeder from Coperion K-Tron as well as a vacuum unit.
After post-consumer waste, either shredded or compacted, is reliably added to the extruder’s process section by the Coperion K-Tron feeder, a great deal of mechanical energy is introduced into the material in shortest time thanks to the continuous surface renewal as well as intensive dispersion and shearing along the twin screws. Within about 30 seconds, a homogeneous, highly devolatilized melt with a temperature of up to 350°C is produced, into which the energy has been introduced very efficiently.
Twin screw extruders possess numerous advantages that are especially beneficial in chemical recycling. The technology covers a broad range of throughputs. On larger ZSK extrusion machines, throughputs of up to 20 t/h can be realized using this process. Polymers of various viscosities are reliably plastified thanks to the effective mode of operation of the twin screws. Plastic energy dissipation takes place in no time. When needed, corrosion and wear protection of all product-contact parts within the process section can assure long extruder lifetime even when processing very aggressive materials.