GreenMantra Technologies, a Brantford, Ontario, producer of waxes and specialty chemicals from recycled plastic feedstocks, has announced it has partnered with Sun Chemical, a Parsippany, New Jersey-based producer of printing inks, to jointly develop polymers from recycled polystyrene (PS) scrap for use in ink formulations.
The agreement combines GreenMantra’s new patent pending process for converting scrap PS 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,” says 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 a supply of converted material for trialing in inks and other end-use applications and for initial commercial sales.
In early September, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) announced it was providing $2.2 million in funding toward construction of the pilot plant.
“This partnership with Sun Chemical is an exciting development for GreenMantra and enhances our continuing efforts to develop commercially viable and valuable products from plastic waste,” says Kousay Said, GreenMantra president and CEO. “Our new polystyrene technology, combined with Sun Chemical’s expertise and experience in the inks industry, will help us develop new, environmentally suitable products while beneficially reusing waste material.”
Russell Schwartz, chief technology officer of Sun Chemical, adds, “This work is part of Sun Chemical’s ongoing efforts to develop new ink products that couple beneficial environmental profiles with improved performance. We believe these new polymers may provide enhanced physical properties in select ink applications, while diverting polystyrene from the waste stream.”
PS 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 percent either disposed of in landfills or incinerated, according to GreenMantra.
GreenMantra Technologies uses a proprietary thermocatalytic system and a patented process to convert and “upcycle” scrap plastics, including hard-to-recycle materials such as grocery bags and film, into high-value waxes and other specialty chemicals. These materials have a broad range of applications in the coatings, plastics processing, adhesives, roofing and paving industries.
Sun Chemical, a member of the DIC Group, is a leading producer of printing inks, coatings and supplies, pigments, polymers, liquid compounds, solid compounds, and application materials. Together with DIC, Sun Chemical has annual sales of more than $7.5 billion and more than 20,000 employees supporting customers around the world.
Sun Chemical Corp. is a subsidiary of Sun Chemical Group Coöperatief U.A., the Netherlands.