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Entrepreneur has developed custom-built machine against plastic pollution

@Adam

This post is also available in: Danish

Redivivus Polymers is the name of the company that Anders Munk founded back in 2019. Located halfway between Aarhus and Aalborg, it has a new solution to an old problem.

“Redivivus is Latin for reused/revived, and ‘Polymers’ means plastic. So our company name says what we do – Recycle used plastic in a good quality,” he explains.

Originally a mold maker and mechanical engineer, Anders Munk is a passionate enthusiast, but after many years as technical director, his hands were itching to solve the plastic problem.

“I had heard through the grapevine that there was a lack of a solution for recycling technical plastics,” says Anders Munk, adding that he had been sniffing around plastic recycling for a long time out of pure interest:

“It’s also hugely important for my children, and someday future grandchildren, to have a world to live in.”

A unique setup

Anders Munk produces engineering plastics, which is a term for plastics that must be able to do a little more than traffic cones or a plastic bag – for example, have extra strength. This is achieved by adding reinforcement and additives, which often disappear when plastic is recycled.

“What is special about our company is that we have chosen to use something called a twin screw extruder, which mixes very, very efficiently and is equipped with four gravimetric feeders that weigh all components meticulously. We therefore have full control over the added materials – including process additives and stabilizers that must be microdosed in very small quantities,” says Anders Munk, adding that he is not aware of anyone in Denmark who has the same setup.

Every detail of the machine is the result of three years of research where Anders Munk has gathered information from near and far. He then ordered a custom-built machine from a Chinese manufacturer. But there were more bumps in the road:

“All our machines were finished in the spring of 2020 when COVID-19 was raging wildly and the Chinese authorities did not allow me to come to China to participate in a test run of our machines, so I had to make do with watching the screen via WhatsApp. When the machines arrived in Denmark, the Danish Immigration Service stopped me from bringing two Chinese engineers to Denmark for 20 days to install and train us in the use of these machines,” says Anders Munk.

Despite challenges, we managed to install the machines ourselves:

“Both my technician and I had only worked with injection molding many years ago, and neither of us had ever tried running an extruder.”

Great potential

Redivivus Polymers has won a MADE Challenge for their technology, which gives them paid hours to test for a larger commercial market.

Many companies in the metal cutting and machining industry have been uncovered that confirm challenges with contaminated plastic waste, suggesting that there are large quantities of the waste type available and therefore potentially high demand for the solution.

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