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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Thermocol is basically Polystyrene.
  • Styrene is an aromatic monomer, and polystyrene is an aromatic polymer.
  • Polystyrene is the most recycled form of disposable food service packaging.
  • Polystyrene is being collected in school and corporate cafeterias, restaurants, grocery stores and/or at curbside in 40 states and sent to reprocessors around the country.
  • Polystyrene recycling is particularly successful in institutional settings.
  • Expandable Polystyrene / EPS is PS Foam that use Pentane gas (C5H12) as the blowing agent.
  • There are different types of plastics, ones which can be remoulded termed as thermo­plastics, such as polystyrene (PS), poly-propylene(PP, polyamides (nylons), polycarbonate(PC), poly-ethylene(PE) and poly­vinyls(PVC).

Process

  • Polystyrene is a polymer made from the monomer styrene, a liquid hydrocarbon that is commercially manufactured from petroleum. At room temperature, polystyrene is normally a solid thermoplastic, but can be melted at higher temperature for molding or extrusion, then resolidified.
  • Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is a lightweight, rigid cellular plastic that is made from the polymerisation of styrene monomer.
  • Polystyrene Paper (PSP) is a PS Foam which produced by extruding process as another plastic.
  • EPS and PSP Foam are made of Polystyrene, which is thermoplastic, so that it will become again a polystyrene plastic when recycled.
  • PS pallet from recycled foam will be produced in various kinds of plastic products e.g. video and tape cassette and ruler. The other way to reuse EPS Foam is to mix the regrind beads with the new expanded bead for re-production in molding process.
  • Post-construction EPS waste can be reground and mixed with concrete to produce new building products such as Rastra and prefabricated concrete blocks.

Applications

  • Recycled polystyrene is being used in egg cartons and sandwich containers.
  • It is desirable to recycle polystyrene foam to reduce the amount of plastic in municipal landfills.
  • In terms of global warming, EPS plays a positive role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Markets

  • EPS has become over the year a commodity of premium importance in building and packaging markets. EPS contains 98 % of air, which makes it difficult to recycle due to the high transport costs.
  • It is conservatively estimated that well over 300,000 tons of waste EPS are produced on an annual basis in the UK. In the USA according to the EPA over 377,579 tons of Polystyrene are produced in California alone.
  • Reducing the amount of landfill space EPS takes by up to 95% would be reason enough to thermally compact and densify this material.
  • It is estimated that approximately 15.2 million pounds (58 percent) of the 26.2 million pounds of EPS packaging recycled during some year were remanufactured into new EPS packaging.

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