Circular Flooring – new products from waste PVC flooring
Circular Flooring is an EU-funded project which aims to establish a circular recycling process for plasticized PVC from post-consumer waste flooring.
For this purpose, the Circular Flooring consortium uses the patented, innovative CreaSolv® Process for plastic recycling developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV.
In the course of the project, waste floor coverings are collected and shredded into smaller particles before they are treated in the CreaSolv® Process that separates PVC from plasticisers. The extracted legacy phthalic acid esters are subsequently deactivated by catalytic hydrogenation, which allows for recycling into REACH-compliant alternatives. The recovered PVC needs then to be further upgraded with tailored additives before it can be reused in new floor coverings and re-enter the market.
This means that a holistic circular value chain for flooring can be established while greatly contributing to the envisioned climate neutrality aimed by the EU by 2050.
Main results to be expected:
- Assessment of the status of availability, collection and treatment of PVC flooring waste in Europe
- Further development of the CreaSolv® Recycling Process for recovering phthalate-free PVC from flooring waste
- Separation and chemical modification of plasticizers from floor covering wastes
- Upscaling of recycling processes from laboratory to technical scale (TRL 5-6)
- Demonstration of the circular design of the recovered secondary PVC and its applicability in new floor coverings
- Assessment of techno-economic feasibility and environmental, health and safety impacts of the novel recycling processes
- Prevention of usable resources (PVC, plasticisers) from being landfilled or incinerated, thus reducing CO2 emissions and possible soil contamination.