Finland-based Stora Enso partners with Barcelona, Spain-based Alucha Recycling Technologies to deploy pyrolosis-based recycling process to separate plastic, aluminum by heating material in absence of oxygen

LOS ANGELES , September 7, 2011 () – Helsinki-based Stora Enso Oyj announced the deployment of a new recycling process based on pyrolosis at its Barcelona, Spain, mill Sept. 6, Packaging World reported the same day.

Pyrolosis uses heat and pressure to break down materials in the absence of oxygen. The Barcelona mill uses plastic and aluminum beverage containers from France, Portugal, Spain and the U.K. and with this new process the mill is able to recover all those containers’ constituent materials including fiber, plastic and aluminum.

This process not only means that less waste is going to landfills; it also provides the mill more material to convert into energy and new products, according to Håkan Molden, VP Carton Board at Stora Enso Packaging.

The recovered plastic is used to generate energy and the recovered fiber is used to make white-line chipboard, Packaging World reported. Aluminum from plastic-aluminum laminate can be recovered and fully repurposed.

By heating the beverage container material in the absence of oxygen, long chains of polyethylene split into light oils and gases. The lack of oxygen prevents the aluminum from oxidizing, allowing it to be easily recycled and remelted.

Packaging World noted that this is the first time that pyrolysis has been used for separating aluminum and plastic.

The process was recognized by the European Union, which bestowed a “Best of the Best” LIFE Environment Projects award on Stora Enso’s Barcelona Mill and its partner with whom they developed this process, Barcelona, Spain-based Alucha Recycling Technologies.

The primary source of this article is Packaging World, Chicago, Illinois, Sept. 6, 2011.

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