It's a Two-Pronged Approach to Recycling
The U.S. polyurethane industry is focusing on two ways to improve the availability of recycled scrap polyurethane or PU. One method is to expand a scrap material supplier/consumer database and improve information on the availability of scrap material, says Don Schomer, chairman of the Polyurethane Recycle and Recovery Council. The other way to improve recycling is to recover or extract chemical products by converting scrap foam into useful raw materials such as polyols and fuel oil, explains Schomer, who shared his views at the recent Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry 2006 Technical Conference. Schomer says the U.S. is having a harder time obtaining scrap PU from traditional overseas sources because they have increased internal consumption of scrap material and have less available for export. Scrap PU prices in the U.S. are rising on declining availability as well as higher virgin raw material prices. The U.S. has traditionally recycled post-industrial scrap. Schomer suggests that additional efforts be made to use post-consumer scrap.