Within the framework of their objective to develop relations with international partners, the 4 European clusters of the PERCY project, including POLYMERIS, organized a collective mission to Canada from May 30 to June 3.
Polymeris was accompanied by the other partners in the PERCY project (Polymer Recycling): Fonden Plast Center Danmark, Denmark, Project Coordinator, Wirtschaftsforderung Raum Heilbron GMBH, Germany and Slovensky Plastikarsky Klaster, Slovakia. They were hosted on site by 3 Canadian clusters and 30 representatives of their members (companies and research centers).
The three Canadian cluster partners in the PERCY project were
- PRIMA Québec Pôle de recherche et d'innovation en matériaux avancés du Québec, which works on all advanced materials, represented by Marie-Pierre Ippersiel
- Alliance Polymères Québec (Plastics Valley), represented by Simon Chrétien
- La Vallée des Elastomères, located in Sherbrooke around the rubber industry, represented by Michel Rousseau
A "Memorandum of Understanding" has been signed with each of the three Canadian clusters and the PERCY Consortium with the ambition to develop and strengthen their partnership and the links between their members on polymer recycling.
The next step should be a meeting proposed to Percy's international partners in Düsseldorf during the next K Fair in October. Work will also be done to identify specific funding opportunities for research and innovation projects between Europe and Canada.
Detailed report of the mission:
The PERCY clusters were represented by Olivier GILLE (POLYMERIS - France), Daniela ADELHEM (WFG Heilbronn - Germany), and Jan Vaclav (Slovenský plastikársky klaster (SPK) - Slovakia). Dorte Walzl Bælum, project coordinator and representative of Plast Center Danmark attended the online meeting. The European delegation included Jean-Pierre Bretaudeau (Hutchinson - Polymeris) and two representatives of TRENSS, a Slovak industrial company (Jaroslav HADVIG and Marko DANIS).
The PERCY project, its objectives, as well as all partners and participants in the meeting were presented.
Two other presentations were made on the state of the art of the latest innovations in polymer recycling in Europe and North America. The presentations on the latter topic were made by :
- Professor Denis Rodrigue, from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Laval University, and leader of CREPEC (Centre de recherche sur les systèmes polymères et composites à haute performance).
- Annie ROCHETTE, Executive Director of COALIA, Centre de recherche appliquée et technologique sur la plasturgie, la technologie minérale et les matériaux avancés.
The meeting allowed all participants to exchange their projects during networking and BtoB meetings.
On the second day of the Canadian mission, the delegation, still led by the cluster's three Canadian partners, was received in the morning at the NRC (National Research Council of Canada) in its Boucherville site, near Montreal. This establishment is dedicated to the automotive and surface transportation sectors. We were welcomed by Milena SEJNOHA, Director of R&D Materials and Processes, who presented the organization of the NRC and the Boucherville site.
Then Karen STOEFFLER, team leader for polymer bioproducts, and Michel CHAMPAGNE, team leader for advanced polymer composites, presented their activities. The Boucherville center works a lot on the use of lignin in polymer processing. Information was given on the possibility of transforming automobile shredder residues into graphene or synthesis gas... The delegation then visited two laboratories, one of which is equipped with a high-pressure press for the production of composites.
The next step was the visit of Polystyvert, a small company specialized in the recycling of styrenic plastics (and primarily PS) using different solvents (Cymene and ethylbenzene) and a powerful purification process with more than 99% purity for the final product. Polystyvert has developed a revolutionary technology for polystyrene recycling, using a dissolution process that works on all types of polystyrene: expanded, extruded and injection molded. Its recycled polystyrene product is of very high quality and can easily be re-extruded or re-injected, allowing many applications to incorporate 100% recycled materials. Marianne LEPINOIS and Roland COTÉ, explained the innovative process developed by the company whose demonstrator produces 125 kg of recycled PS per hour and which is looking for a site to build a new plant around Montreal. The company is also looking for licensing partners....
After these visits, the delegation of the PERCY project in Canada visited the site of Polytechnique Montréal on June 2nd. The delegation met with :
- Prof. Abdellah AJJI, head of the Department of Chemical Engineering who works on thermal recycling of polymers and on depolymerization and upcycling.
- Prof. Marie-Claude HEUZEY, head of CREPEC, Research Center for Polymer Systems and High Performance Composites. Promoting the principles of the circular economy, Canada is aiming for zero plastic waste by 2030.
- Prof. Gregory PATIENCE, Head of the Canadian Research Chair in High Temperature and High Pressure Heterogeneous Catalysis.
The delegation visited some of Polytechnique Montreal's laboratories dedicated to Polymers.
In the afternoon, the delegation visited the Pyrowave plant in Salaberry de Valleyfield, 60 km west of Montreal. PYROWAVE uses microwaves to recycle polymers and mainly Polystyrene. Stéphanie BUSSIERES, vice-president of communication and marketing of the company presented the technology.
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