Sweden-based chemical company Nexam Chemical has announced the scientific validation of its Reactive Recycling additives, marking a significant advancement for the recycling of polypropylene (PP).  

This patented technology has been proven to repair polymers degraded during recycling, facilitating sustainable and efficient recycling processes.  

The Reactive Recycling additives align with the growing need for polymer circularity and address the limitations of mechanical recycling, often seen as a downcycling process. 

The additives have undergone extensive scientific research, confirming their ability to restore molecular weight and improve the processability of recycled PP (rPP).  

This development is particularly beneficial for high-demand engineering sectors.  

A recent study published in Polymer Degradation and Stability by the Department of Applied Science and Technology at Politecnico di Torino, Italy, has provided evidence of the additive’s effectiveness. 

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The study, which focused on the thermomechanical degradation of PP microstructure over multiple extrusion cycles, found that Nexam Chemical’s additive not only prevented the decrease in molecular weight of processed plastic but also induced favourable melt structuring phenomena.  

Corresponding author of the study Dr Alberto Frache said: “Our research indicates that Nexam Chemical’s additive offers a promising pathway for achieving recycled PP with modulable flow characteristics and enhanced processability. This advancement holds significant implications for the circular economy, promoting sustainable practices and resource efficiency.” 

Available under the brand name Reactive Recycling, these additives are suitable for both post-industrial and post-consumer mechanical recycling processes.  

In addition to maintaining the quality of recycled PP, the additives support the global transition to a circular economy.  

Nexam Chemical CEO Ronnie Törnqvist said: “This marks a significant milestone within polymer recycling, and I am proud to be able to share this contribution to the global plastics recycling industry.  

“Our Reactive Recycling technology opens for a significantly increased use of rPP in processes currently limited to mainly virgin material, for example foaming, blow moulding, vacuum forming and film blowing.”