Flame retardants (FRs) are chemicals added to materials to prevent the start or spread of a fire. They have been used in numerous consumer and construction products since the 1970s, but many have now been banned because they can remain in the environment for years, accumulating to toxic levels. Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are among these. CREAToR is developing a process to remove BFRs from polymer waste materials in the building, construction, electrical and electronic equipment and aviation sectors. Even better, CREAToR aims to create a circular economy, revalorising the purified materials for use in new insulation panels for buildings and also for interior automotive and aerospace components.
CREAToR focuses on process development and demonstration to identify and sort hazardous, already banned BFRs from waste streams and subsequently remove them using continuous purification technologies: supercritical-CO2 and cost-effective solvent-based processes using natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) in twin-screw extruders. It will also establish an optimised logistic concept and a harmonised material quality classification scheme.
Consequently, CREAToR will transform waste streams - that are currently incinerated at costs of >180 €/t - into value-bringing secondary raw materials. The economic viability of CREAToR will be validated through material benchmarking and LCA/LCC assessment for the whole value chain resulting in next generation products.