Investment boosts recycling capacity for UK company Axion Polymers

808
Axion Axpoly ABS grade (Photo: Axion Polymers)

Further investment in Axion Polymers’ Manchester-based plastics recycling facility has increased waste processing capacity, as well as extrusion capability of its 100 per cent recycled polymer grades. It is the first phase of continuing investment in the plant development.

Additional equipment has been purchased and installed at its Shredder Waste Advanced Processing Plant (SWAPP), Trafford Park, which has ‘de-bottlenecked’ part of the high-tech process. As a result, the plant capacity has improved by over 30 per cent per month, allowing increased volumes of auto shredder residue (ASR) from end-of-life vehicles (ELV) and Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) to be processed into its high-quality Axpoly recycled polypropylene (PP) and ABS grades. The greater processing capacity translates into a 20 per cent increase in recycled polymers produced per month, enabling Axion to satisfy increased demand from the construction and automotive sectors for these materials.

Axion’s processes demonstrate a full circular economy approach; extracting and refining a high-quality engineering polymer from auto shredder waste and WEEE. Operated jointly with S Norton, one of the UK’s leading ferrous and non-ferrous metal recyclers, the SWAPP facility, one of the most advanced of its type in Europe, has an annual capacity of 200,000 tonnes separating the non-metallic fractions (ASR or shredder ‘fluff’) from the equivalent of about 800,000 cars a year.

Tailored polymers to suit specific end-user requirements

The plant delivers the 95 per cent recycling and recovery rate for cars, creating a circular economic model for automotive materials. Axion’s high-grade “Axpoly” recycled polymers can be used as a direct replacement for virgin polymer or combined with virgin polymers for use in demanding applications, including the automotive sector. The SWAPP investment means increased volumes of infeed material for Axion’s Salford plant, which refines plastics extracted from ELV and WEEE. It supplies tailored polymers to suit specific end-user requirements, such as modified melt flow, impact resistance and tensile strength.

Axion Polymers Commercial Operations Manager Laura Smith says the new investment is ‘great news’, meaning that they can now satisfy more customer orders, adding: “Our customers benefit from our secure source of infeed material; it means we can reliably satisfy our customer orders. Because of the process modifications we have made, we are now able to supply greater volumes of Axpoly polypropylene and ABS grades every month.” Praising the team’s hard work, Axion’s General Manager Judith Clayman adds: “They all pulled together to design and install the plant modifications as efficiently as possible and I am very pleased with the result. The investment in the SWAPP plant shows Axion’s commitment to continuously improve and optimise its unique process for recovering materials from end of life vehicles and mixed WEEE appliances.”

Axion Polymers is part of the Axion Group that develops and operates innovative resource recovery and processing solutions for recycling waste materials. The Group works with a wide range of clients within the recycling and process industries on the practical development of new processing and collection methods.

Source: Axion Polymers