Bepex International LLC
In the Bepex process, ground and washed post-consumer polyester packaging (RPET) flakes are efficiently decontaminated and polymerized for food-contact packaging applications. The hot processed flakes are directly extruded into bottles, sheets, or films, thereby eliminating several energy-, capital-, and labor-intensive steps, resulting in a cost-effective, simplified process. Volatile contaminants in the polymer are removed by diffusion into the gas phase, thereby purifying the polymer in the solid state under atmospheric pressure. The presence of small amounts of selected vapors in the gas enhances diffusion of the volatile components, providing efficient decontamination without excessive molecular-weight buildup. This talk presents bench-scale and pilot-scale results of this new process for decontaminating post-consumer PET bottle flakes for food-contact applications.