DESTINO FINAL > Reciclagem - Polietileno e Alumínio > Artigo
Alcoa Aluminio, Tetra Pak, Klabin and TSL Ambiental have inaugurated the world‘s first carton packaging recycling facility located in Piracicaba, Brazil. The plant uses groundbreaking plasma technology, which enables the total separation of aluminum and plastic components from the cartons.
This innovative process constitutes a significant enhancement to the current recycling process for carton packaging, which up until now, separated paper, but kept plastic and aluminum together. The plasma process provides another option for recycling, allowing for the return of all three components of the package to the productive chain as raw material. Alcoa, which supplies thin-gauge aluminum foil to Tetra Pak for aseptic packaging, uses the recycled aluminum to manufacture new foils.
The new plasma facility has the capacity to process 8,000 tons per year of plastic and aluminum, corresponding to recycling approximately 32,000 tons of aseptic packaging. The emission of pollutants during the recovery of the materials is minimal, handled in the absence of oxygen, without combustion, yielding an energy efficiency rate close to 90%.
"This project synthesizes the best that sustainability can offer, in the form of partnering, technological innovation, environmental enhancement and social development. Alcoa is proud to participate in the roll-out of this pioneering technology," stated Franklin Feder, president of Alcoa Latin America.
"Brazil already possesses an exemplary record of recycling aluminum and, consequently, the country now has the potential to become a global paradigm as well in the recovery and reuse of aseptic carton packages," Feder said.
The application of plasma technology for the recycling of carton packaging employs electrical energy to produce a jet of plasma at 15 thousand degrees Celsius to heat the plastic and aluminum mixture.
With this process, plastic is transformed into paraffin and the aluminum is recovered in the form of high-purity ingot. Alcoa will then use the recycled aluminum to manufacture new foil. Paraffin is sold to the Brazilian petrochemical industry. The paper, extracted during the first phase of the recycling process is transformed into cardboard by Klabin.
TSL Ambiental, responsible for the technology development of thermal plasma, is responsible for operating this new facility.
The plasma project began in Brazil seven years ago when the former Plasma Group of the IPT (Institute of Technological Research of the University of Sao Paulo -USP) began exploring the development of processes and technologies that could handle industrial residues enabling the reuse of the valuable metals and materials. The use of plasma technology for the processing of plastic and aluminum in the carton packages was successful and formed the basis of the partnership between the four companies for the creation of the recycling plant.
The Companies Alcoa Aluminum S.A was founded 40 years ago in Brazil and it is a subsidiary of Alcoa Inc., a world leader in aluminum production and technology. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa‘s businesses to customers.
Alcoa, through its Alcoa Recycling Company, has collected and recycled more than 300 billion aluminum cans around the world. Our efforts reduce the need for landfill space and save significant energy by producing aluminum from recycled cans. This recycling process requires 95 percent less energy than when producing can sheet material from bauxite ore. About two-thirds of aluminum ever produced -- 440 million tons of a total 680 million tons manufactured since 1886 -- is still in use. Alcoa has 131,000 employees in 43 countries and has been a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average for 45 years and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes since 2001.
Associação dos Fabricantes de Embalagens de Cartão para Alimentos Líquidos
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