Keycycle acquires Cadel Deinking with focus on recycling

Erema Group subsidiary Keycycle integrates de-inking process for printed plastics in its product portfolio

Keycycle acquires Cadel Deinking with focus on recycling
Heavily printed film (left) is colorless following the deinking process (right) and as a result, can be processed in the recycling extruder to make high-quality recycled pellets (bottom). Photo credit: EREMA

Keycycle, a subsidiary of the Erema Group, has acquired Spanish company Cadel Deinking to work together on de-inking printed plastic waste and market the de-inking process under the Keycycle Deinking brand.

Keycycle worked for two years with Cadel Deinking to develop an innovative process of removing printing inks from the surface of plastic, which proved successful. There are now several de-inking lines in operation at customers’ sites, where they are processing printed in-house and post-industrial film waste. Having acquired the Cadel Deinking brand, Keycycle will continue to develop the technology and market the de-inking process under the Keycycle Deinking brand.

“We have already been exclusively responsible for the worldwide distribution of this patented technology since January 2021, including the operation of the pilot plant together with Cadel in Sant Vicente del Raspeig (Alicante). By acquiring the trademark rights, we are taking the final step of integrating this process technology into our product portfolio,” says Michal Prochazka, Managing Director of Keycycle.

This technology is a milestone in safely feeding back into the production process recycled pellets made from plastics that were originally printed, Prochazka said. “The product not only delivers top quality, it now meets industrial standards,” explains Prochazka, referring to the new larger de-inking line with a throughput of 1,200 kilograms per hour, an innovation that was recently presented for the first time at K 2022.

With plants on this scale, the Keycycle de-inking process also opens the door to the post-consumer recycling segment, where the removal of printing inks enables another significant quality upgrade for the recycled pellets.

How the process works

During the decolonization process, the ink is dissolved from the surface of the shredded film or regrind material. Only water-based chemical components are used, which makes the de-inking process particularly environmentally friendly. The material is then fed into the recycling extruder. Of the eight plants ordered since the market launch, five are now in operation at customers’ sites, where they are delivering very impressive results.

Keycycle demonstrated how this works to visitors at K 2022: In the Erema Circonomic Centre, in-house waste film and post-consumer film were recycled both after pre-treatment in a de-inking plant and without de-inking. The difference in the quality of the two streams of recycled pellets was clearly visible.

The Cadel company continues to operate as Cadel Recycling Lab, dedicated to its core competence of developing new innovative technologies for plastics recycling plus laboratory and software techniques for decontamination assessment.

Keycycle is a global provider of turnkey solutions for new plastics recycling projects including the Keycycle Deinking process and for system optimizations. 

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