Colors & Effects Developed a New Pigment
Smart Recycling of Dark Plastics
Sicopal Black K 0098 FK is a sustainable alternative replacing carbon black. It can be used for multiple processing steps and closed loop recycling.
Recyclability is a decisive factor for plastics design. When colored with carbon black, plastics go undetected by waste sorting machines. Even traces of carbon black can hinder the near infrared (NIR) sorting of polymer scrap due to the pigments absorbing properties. Consequently, the plastic cannot be detected for further recycling and the waste will be incinerated or landfilled. Therefore, replacing carbon black with the newly developed NIR-reflective Sicopal Black K 0098 FK from BASF Colors & Effects, Ludwigshafen, Germany, reportedly contributes to smart recycling of plastics.
“The Colors & Effects research and development team has proactively taken on the industry need for recyclable black plastics that can pass through infrared sorting at materials recycling facilities”, says Dr. Christof Kujat, Head of Global Technical Industry Management for Plastics. As project lead, he has brought the new pigment to life: “Building on our established Sicopal Black technology, we have developed a new member of the pigment family with the aim to optimize it for the use in packaging. In the end our team has succeeded in creating a new pigment for recycling of black plastics with improved value in use.”
Recyclability by Design Includes Food Contact Compliance
According to the company, the new black offers high color strength, opacity and food contact compliance, allowing its use in sensitive applications, like the coloration of food packaging. It is suitable for all commonly used plastics materials, including high heat polymers. Thanks to its good NIR-reflectivity Sicopal Black K 0098 FK allows the reliable detection of the polymer even at high pigment content. With its good processing stability, it can be used for multiple processing steps and closed loop recycling.
BASF Colors & Effects GmbH
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