Pilot plant for recycling plastics

In our pilot plant we develop customized recycling processes

We work primarily on solvent-based plastic recycling processes with particularly high purification potential. We offer interested companies a close cooperation to adapt our basic process to specific target polymers and waste fractions. At the Fraunhofer IVV, we accompany the process adaptation up to the technical scale, together with plant engineering companies even up to commercial implementation.

As a first step, we carry out a feasibility study on a laboratory scale. We then use the data obtained to scale up to a small technical scale before moving on to the demonstration scale (TRL 6) in our large-scale pilot plant. In all three phases, in addition to sample production, the investigations focus on increasing the quality of the recyclate and process economy as well as testing suitable aggregates.

We use the product samples obtained in the three development phases as well as mass and energy balances as a solid basis for reliable economic feasibility studies.

We offer these facilities

Large-scale pilot plant for solvent-based plastics recycling

Allows production campaigns from 100-1000 kg

Small-scale pilot plant for solvent-based plastics recycling

Scope of production 10-20 kg

Recycling laboratory

A successful recycling process requires comprehensive analytical characterization of the recycling fractions and products.

Our large-scale pilot plant for solvent-based plastics recycling

Large-scale technical center for plastics recycling at the Fraunhofer IVV

Small-scale pilot plant for solvent-based plastics recycling

Small-scale plastics recycling plant at the Fraunhofer IVV


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Recycling laboratory

Analytical investigation of films made from recycled plastic

In addition to laboratory equipment for testing solvent-based recycling, Fraunhofer IVV has the following methods for characterization of recycling fractions and products:

  • Plastics identification and purity testing using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) as well as specific solubility testing
  • Thermal analysis of plastics and elastomers using DSC and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) to determine thermal properties (e.g. melting, crystallisation, glass transition, thermal decomposition, annealing residue)
  • Molecular mass determination of polymers and recyclates using gel permeation chromatography (GPC or SEC), also high-temperature GPC for PE or PP possible
  • Energy and wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF) including the performance of the XRF-based HBCD rapid test
  • Specific analysis for residual solvents and impurities using chromatographic separation methods:  HS-GC, GC-FID, GC-ECD, GC-MS and LC-MS for testing recyclates for conformity with national and European directives
  • Structural analysis of composites and recyclates using scanning electron microscopy
  • Optical evaluation of recyclates: color evaluation using CIELAB color space, light microscopy for optical visualisation of material structure, defects and particles
  • Determination of rheological properties using the melt flow index (MFI) and melt flow rate (MFR)
  • Determination of mechanical properties by means of a tensile test in accordance with DIN EN ISO 527 (tensile strength, elongation at break)
  • Product analysis of products made from recyclates