A new continuous recycling system has been developed at Argonne National Laboratory of Argonne, IL, which can separate auto shredder residue into distinct material streams that can eventually be reprocessed into useful products. The lab signed its first license agreement with N.V. Salyp, a recycler in Eiper, Belgium. The company plans to incorporate the system into a demonstration facility for recycling vehicles and will sublicense the Argonne technology to automobile shredders worldwide. Argonne's technology separates previously ‘unrecoverable’ residue—a mass of plastic, rubber, glass, fibers, and dirt—into useful product streams of polyurethane foam, thermoplastics, and inorganic fines. In the wash section of Argonne's foam cleaning operation, a conveyor moves the foam forward, then compresses and releases it to remove entrained oils and dirt. The company plans to incorporate Argonne's separation and foam cleaning technology into the demonstration plant, but is opting for a mechanical separation technology to separate mixed thermoplastics. Salyp plans to license a technology for mechanical separation of mixed plastics. The demonstration plant will also include a bumper shredding facility.

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