TORWASH® selectively removes PLA from objects, composites and mixed waste streams. It converts the polymer back its original components (lactic acid) while other materials are unaffected. The monomers can be used to make new virgin plastics.
TORWASH® is a development of TNO.
TORWASH® dissolves bio-degradable plastics like PLA in water by means of depolymerization. PLA becomes a lactic acid solution, while other plastics remain unaffected or they melt and solidify. Paper becomes pulp; metal does nothing. Lactic acid is simply filtered out, purified and used to make new, virgin bio-degradable plastic again.
First application: Designed-for-TORWASH®.
Objects, composites and packages can be designed to consist of PLA and a limited set of other materials. In TORWASH, the PLA is removed, even when intimately mixed or glued. The removal of PLA makes the object fall apart. Each material/component can be recycled/reused separately. The liquid is purified for lactic acid, to be used to make new, virgin PLA
Second application: TORWASH® at festivals.
At a green festival, PLA and paper are used for cups, dishes and utensils, etc. The waste is mainly PLA and cellulose fiber. This waste is shreddered and TORWASHed. The output is easy to separate: PLA dissolves into lactic acid; cellulose becomes floating fibers; food scraps and all other junk sinks to the bottom. The lactic acid is used to make new PLA, the cellulose to make new paper.