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Nuevo proceso ecológico para eliminar tinta impresa en films de plástico


Oferta Tecnológica
Una empresa española ha desarrollado un proceso para eliminar tinta impresa en films de plástico empleados en envases flexibles sin utilizar ningún tipo de disolvente orgánico. Como resultado se obtiene un producto de plástico sin tinta puro y de alta calidad que aumenta el valor económico del film reciclado. La tecnología ha sido probada con éxito en diferentes plásticos, como polietileno, polipropileno, poliéster y poliamida y es factible tanto con tintas de base acuosa como con tintas basadas en disolventes. Se buscan empresas interesadas en establecer acuerdos de licencia y cooperación técnica.


New and eco-friendly process for the elimination of printed ink from plastic film
A Spanish company has developed a new process for the elimination of printed ink from plastic films used in flexible packaging without using any kind of organic solvent. As a result, a pure, high-quality ink-free plastic product is obtained increasing the economic value of the recycled film. The technology has been successfully tested at industrial level. The company is looking for industrial enterprises interested in license agreement and/or technical cooperation agreement.
The printing of flexible packaging consists of applying a liquid ink to a plastic film. After drying, the printed film is ready to be used as packaging for various products. Some of the most common plastics used are polyethylene (PE), polypropylene PP and polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
During the printing of flexible packaging is normal to adjust the parameters of the printing machine, as well as the different colours used, to achieve a print of the required quality. The plastic film moves through the printer at high speeds, so large amounts of plastic of lower quality is also produced. Most of the waste is generated in this part of the process, incurring losses of between 5 and 10% of the total production.
Nowadays, this kind of material is recycled without eliminating the ink. A coloured film of low quality and value is obtained, which is normally used in basic applications such as rubbish bags. The existing industrial processes offer no global solution to the problem of removing ink from printed film. Given the increase in price of raw materials, it is becoming urgent to find a way of effectively recycling plastic waste and reducing production costs.
The process developed by Spanish company offers a global solution for this problem by removing the ink from the plastic film using different physical and chemical treatments. As a result a pure, high-quality ink-free plastic product is obtained, for using in a wide variety of added value applications.
The process consists of various steps. First, the material is prepared. Then it is milled to the correct size for cleaning. Next, the ink is removed in cleaning tanks. The milled material is transferred to the tank, where water and cleaning agents are added. During the process the ink is extracted continuously by a stream of water that contains the cleaning solution and the ink. The company has developed a new water treatment plant and allows work with a water close loop.
In the following step, the milled and treated film is soaked in a washing tank to completely remove the final remains of the ink and cleaning solution. Finally, the film is dried to obtain a high quality plastic that can be reused as a high quality raw material after a re-granulation process.
The company has built a deinking plant with 100 kg/h of capacity for demonstration using the specific plastic of the client. The plant contains all the elements and equipment necessary to convert film scrap into new pellets with similar properties than the raw materials.
The company is looking for industrial enterprises interested in exploiting this technology via sub-license agreement and/or technical cooperation in applying this technology to other specific activities and by-products.
Advantages and Innovations:
Innovative aspects:
· The process for the removal of the ink is completely innovative and ecological, because it does not use organic solvents to remove the ink.
· The technology has been successfully tested on different plastics, such as polythene, polypropylene, polyester and polyamide. It is viable for both water or solvent based inks and ultraviolet (UV) inks.
· The process can be applied to both printed products sold to an end user or waste from the printing process. So the film can take the form of reels of various widths and sizes, or irregular pieces.

Main advantages:
· A semi industrial plant is ready for demonstration using the specific plastic of the client.
· The process obtains an ink-free plastic film which can easily be transformed into a new raw material for processing.
· The industrial process is economically viable because the value of the recovered material is increased.
· The cost of recycling treatment is lower than the increase of the selling price of de-inked film which has much higher quality than coloured film.
· New process. No friendly de-inking process available on the state of the art.
Stage of Development:
Already on the market
Patents granted
CommeR Statunts Regarding IPR Status:
Spanish patent granted

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
Type of partner sought: Industries, environmental consulting engineering.
Specific area of activity: Printing industries, packaging or plastic recycling
Task to be performed: Acquire and exploit the technology in printed plastic film industries. Define requirements for process implementation or development to other applications or industrial sectors.


Type and Size of Client:
Industry SME <= 10
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Languages Spoken:


Technology Keywords:
10002015 Evaluación del ciclo de vida
02002001 Limpieza (chorro de arena, cepillado)
10002007 Tecnología / ingeniería medioambiental
10002013 Tecnologías verdes / producción limpia