Fluoropolymer up-cycling plant equipped with emergency shutdown system

Paul Boughton

In Burgkirchen, Germany, Dyneon GmbH has started operating the world’s first pilot plant to recycle end-of-life fluoropolymer materials.

To safeguard the plant’s depolymerisation reactor, Dyneon selected a HIMatrix safety controller from safety specialist HIMA as the emergency shutdown (ESD) system. If excess temperatures are reached, the safety system transitions the plant to a safe status to exclude the possibility of risks for people and the environment.

The compact, modular HIMatrix safety controller was developed especially for applications that require from just a few I/Os to several hundred I/Os. Its efficiency, compactness and simple assembly of the various control and remote I/O modules are particular advantages, especially for networked and time-critical applications.

Additional features, such as the capacity for easy integration and flexibility for modifications and extensions, were among the reasons that Dyneon cites for choosing HIMatrix.

"Years of experience with the products from HIMA have also given us good reason to rely on their safety technology for this new process technology," explains Martin Neubauer, Project Manager EMSR at Dyneon.

Dyneon uses technology for treating wastes to achieve the environmentally-friendly, sustainable recovery of raw material at its new, high-temperature recycling plant in the Industrial Park Gendorf works. Through pyrolysis, the perfluorinated ‘end-of-life’ waste is broken down into monomers, with an extremely high recovery rate of more than 90%. The monomers are fed into the distillation system and can be used for the production of new fluoropolymers.

The innovative procedure for ‘up-cycling’ residual perfluorinated materials was developed jointly by Dyneon, the University of Bayreuth, and the research institute InVertec, and part of the project was funded by the German Federal Foundation for the Environment (Bundestiftung Umwelt).