You are here

PVC Upcycling - reclaiming PVC, copper and aluminium from decommissioned electric cables

Type of organisation or company:

Reggio di Calabria

Language for original content:

Project elaborated in partnership: 
Submitted by: 
R.ED.EL srl
Start/End date: 
11/2017 to 11/2019
Expected end date: 

REDEL is an energy provider in Italy. Its activities comprise decommissioning outdated energy installations (de-risking), generating a vast amount of discarded power cables. The PVC Upcycling project aims to initiate a circular model for reclaiming resources by:

  • de-manufacturing: recovering the PVC of electric cables coming from decommissioned energy plants;
  • re-manufacturing: recycling of the same PVC in products with low environmental impact.

Recycled PVC comes in the form of granules useful for many applications like pavement or construction substrates, or additive manufacturing.

Along with PVC, copper and aluminium are also reclaimed and turned into metal granules for new production purposes.

The PVC Upcycling process is the first phase of a broader transformation of the company's production chain. The aim is to recover, recycle and reuse waste materials generated in the different phases of its production system which is based on the creation and management of supplies connected to electrical installations.

The project is the winner of the research and development call of the POR Calabria 2014-2020, Axis 1, Action 1.2.2. The leading partners are R.ED.EL., the DIATIC Department of the University of Calabria UNICAL and the ENEA Research Centre.

PVC UpCycling also involves the startup PMopenlab regarding the consulting services on smart/additive manufacturing as well as the dissemination and branding of the project.

Main results: 

The PVC UpCycling project aims to achieve two objectives that can be summarized as follows:

  • a process innovation implemented by the company R.ED.EL. by moving from a model economic solution to a circular model in which the entire part of the waste (PVC, aluminum and copper) deriving from the decommissioning of the electric cables of industrial plants, is sent for recycling (de-manufacturing)
  • product innovation implemented with the study and realization of eco-sustainable products containing recycled PVC (re-manufacturing)

Check out the explanatory leaflet