revolBRAS achieves its first milestone
Approximately 80 million tonnes of PET are produced worldwide each year, and the revolBRAS project is developing an innovative solution to address challenges of recycling it. The patented revolPET® technology developed by the company RITTEC Umwelttechnik GmbH allows composite packaging containing PET to be recycled.
The first step for the project has been for AHK-São Paulo to conduct an analysis of the Brazilian waste management market and to work with RITTEC to establish contacts among relevant stakeholders. The analysis covers the infrastructural and legal framework conditions, as well as the challenges and opportunities in the Brazilian market. This will provide the basis for the market launch of the patented revolPET® technology, which is being further developed to meet the needs of the Brazilian market. An essential part of the developments being undertaken as part of the revolBRAS project are solution concepts for process-integrated water and heat recovery in order to make the process more energy-efficient. These aspects are being researched and realised by RITTEC in cooperation with the TU Braunschweig. A pilot plant with a capacity of 100 tonnes of PET per year is currently on site in Braunschweig. In the final quarter of 2022, this will be scaled up to a miniplant with an annual capacity of approx. 400 tonnes of PET.
The revolBRAS project launched in April 2021 and is being carried out with the financial support of the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). RITTEC coordinates a consortium of five German and three Brazilian partners. The project aims to establish a complete resource-conserving value chain with a decentralised recycling system for complex PET packaging in Brazil. The incorporation of revolPET® technology in Brazil will open up new revenue streams for the formal and the informal waste sector. In this context, the revolBRAS project is not only expected to have a positive environmental impact but also to make a positive contribution to Brazilian society. In order to quantify and assess its positive impact, the project will use a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and a Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA), the objectives and investigative framework for which have been defined with the partners University of São Paulo (USP), TU Braunschweig and Fraunhofer ICT. Through targeted USP partnerships with waste collectors' cooperatives, the project team will conduct a survey to gain an overview of PET-containing waste streams in Brazil. This primary data will support both the LCA and S-LCA analyses and the modelling of the innovative business ecosystem.