| Todays plastic bottle could soon become the car of tomorrow.|
At the recent Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) 2007 Global Plastics Environmental Conference, GE Plastics received an environmental award for New Technologies in Progress. SPE recognized GEs Valox iQ and Xenoy iQ resins, both synthesized from post consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. The resins can be upcycled to make polybutylene terepthalate (PBT) resins. Upcycling yields virgin thermoplastic properties with an extremely low carbon footprint. Global use of iQ resin technology could annually save 5.2 million barrels of oil, says GE. "Valox iQ and Xenoy iQ resins are the result of a major technological breakthrough that enables both environmental responsibility and exceptional performance," says GE Plastics global technology manager, Crystalline Products Ken Miller.
Valox iQ and Xenoy iQ resins came out of a two-year initiative that examined GE Plastics' manufacturing processes for opportunities to make its products cleaner and more environmentally responsible. Valox iQ and Xenoy iQ resins are key parts of an environmentally progressive resin portfolio developed as part of GEs ecomagination initiative.
Valox iQ PBT resins are 85% post-consumer PET waste that gets turned into PBT resin. Xenoy iQ resin is an alloy of PBT and polycarbonate (PC) based polymers, also derived from 85% post-consumer plastic waste. The proprietary manufacturing process for these materials doesnt involve recycling, but rather upcycling, a novel way to regenerate and upgrade low-end synthetic solid waste. The process also helps conserve non-renewable fuel resources while lowering carbon dioxide released into the environment.
Valox iQ and Xenoy iQ resins reportedly consume less energy and yield less CO2 in their manufacturing than traditional resins. GE says its approach reduces CO2 emissions by at least 1.7 kg/kg of resin and can save up to 8.5 barrels of crude oil/1,000 kg of resin compared to a standard PBT resin. In addition, Valox iQ PBT resin uses 80% less energy and emits 80% less CO2 than standard Nylon 6/6, 64% less energy and 41% less CO2 than bio-PTT (polytrimethylene terepthalate), and 50% less energy and CO2 than bio-based PLA (polylactic acid). GE figures if all PBT produced in 2005 was replaced with the Valox iQ and Xenoy iQ resins, it would have created an outlet for over 562,000 metric tons/year of PET waste. This is equal to 22.5 billion soft drink bottles enough to circle the earth 120 times if aligned end-to-end.
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