Medical equipment made using Solvay’s Udel high-performance polysulfone (PSU) thermoplastic will be recycled at the end of their useful lives in a new sustainability initiative that the company has embarked on with Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials (MCAM).
In line with Solvay’s One Planet sustainability roadmap and Mitsubishi’s KAITEKI vision designed to preserve resources and contribute to safer, cleaner and more sustainable products, both companies are currently investigating the implementation of logistics for recovery, recycling, and reprocessing of Udel PSU medical components, with the aim of recycled material being suitable for reuse in the original applications.
“The agreement with Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials is the latest demonstration of Solvay’s commitment to help customers achieve ambitious sustainability targets,” says Antonella Di Meo, Product Sustainability Manager at Solvay. “It is part of our long-term commitment to develop sustainable solutions from bio-based or recycled resources. With this project, we want to show, in a practical way, that it is possible to recycle high-value Udel PSU parts used in the medical field, yielding important savings in CO2 emissions along the production and supply chain.”
The project involves using a combination of the expertise developed by MCAM to wash and mechanically purify the material, together with Solvay's ability to evaluate the chemistry of the end-of-life polymer, to develop a robust recycling strategy that will provide customers with materials that fully meet all specifications.
MCAM has already partnered with Solvay in reclamation and recycling of other high-performance polymers, including KetaSpire polyetheretherketone (PEEK).
“Giving back more than we take is at the heart of MCAM’s strategy and sustainability approach. We have adopted the concept of KAITEKI to help us achieve our sustainability objectives based on our core values of environmental, social and human well-being,” says Henning Bloech, Global Director Sustainable Solutions for Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials. “We fully support our partner Solvay in this effort. We look forward to maximizing the potential of our synergies to help customers tackle the global challenge of plastic waste.”
Together with Solvay’s polymer chemistry expertise, MCAM’s mastery of mechanical recycling will help overcome the special challenges customers face to recycle and reuse such polymers in demanding applications in support of the circular economy.