For several months, Van Rhijn has worked closely with Lindner Washtech’s engineers to develop the new plastic washing system. Harald Hoffmann, the firm’s Managing Director from Großbottwar (Germany), is happy to actively help shape this flagship project. He is convinced that the testing system as a whole will have a huge impact on the recycling industry and is a major leap forward. “The modular system will soon make it possible for different types of plastic to undergo different washing tests. This is made more feasible as the modules can be independently integrated into the process. In addition, the washing modules can be separately adapted to the requirements of each kind of plastic and its degree of contamination. This flexibility creates multiple opportunities for process optimisation at every step of the way, while ensuring high-quality recycled material. This kind of research and testing not only actively contributes to recycling profitability, it also increases the rate of recycling and environmental protection,” says Hoffmann.
In addition to supplying the complex washing system, made up of flexible and highly specialised components, Lindner Washtech is also including a universal plastic shredder from its Antares series, as well as a wet granulator. The washing process can be minutely adapted through its different components to suit any kind of input material and its varying degrees of contamination. To this end, a dry cleaner, pre-washer, friction washer or various hot-wash components are also available. The client can choose from various options when it comes to material separation and drying – which can be chosen to develop and design the optimal process for the material at hand. The NTCP system will be equipped with a mechanical dryer, a step dryer, as well as thermal drying specifically for plastic film.
Since the NTCP is an independent, not-for-profit organisation, it reinvests all its profits, and equally addresses different organisations and stakeholders within the circular plastic recycling chain. Many national and international companies have already expressed an interest in collaborations and partnerships. Freek van Rhijn, who came on board as technical director in October 2019, is not surprised that NTCP has logged so many orders since its inception: “When people come here, they can't believe their eyes. They may have imagined a lab with a few small machines, but this is a real industrial plant. Everyone we speak to sees the benefits of operating at this scale.” Orders have come in from a variety of large and small firms, including sorters, recyclers, brand owners, retailers, packers and other stakeholders in the plastic recycling industry. These, alongside international brands, have all approached the NTCP with research and testing requests.
Lindner Washtech also intends to use this facility to further develop its washing components and to test prototypes. “In future, we want to make the most of the NTCP’s testing possibilities for our own research and development. We will also ensure that our latest innovations are made available to the NTCP for test runs. Ultimately, the entire plastics industry benefits from testing facilities of this magnitude,” says Georg Krenn, Technical Director at Lindner Washtech.
Preferred testing and research partner
The NTCP will continue on its path to achieve the firm goal of increasing the amount of recycled material and accelerating innovation across recycling chains. Director Martine Brandsma even foresees sustainable plastic playing a prominent role across Europe. “We have the ambition to be the preferred partner for testing and research in the field of household waste streams. We are already eighty percent on track to reach our target for 2022. In just a short time, we’ve already been recognised as an independent partner, with our results being confirmed and accepted on a national and international level. On the one hand, this shows that there is an enormous need for our services. On the other hand, it is a confirmation that we have set up our business model successfully and our projects are achieving great results. We’re just a small team here at NTCP, so that’s something we are very proud of."