A Cool Upgrade for Plastics Recycling
The world’s first food-grade PET and HDPE plastic bottle recycling plant, Closed Loop Recycling in Dagenham, has recently been ‘upcycled’ itself, having received a major cooling and chilled water upgrade from process cooling and energy saving specialists, IsoCool. The installation, which involved the recycling of an old chiller and the fitting of a new high-efficiency NAX model, allows for the provision of chilled water to additional pelletising lines, future proofing the recycler’s short and long-term expansion plans for the plant.
Responding to an ever-increasing demand for recycled plastics, Essex-based Closed Loop Recycling set out to increase the reprocessing capacity of its Dagenham plant, which currently turns 35,000 tonnes of mixed plastic bottle waste into food-grade plastic annually. However with a five-year-old cooling system unable to support the company’s rapid growth, Closed Loop Recycling turned to IsoCool to provide a solution that would not only meet its major expansion requirements, but also the company’s environmental ethics, as Steve Corbett, at Closed Loop recycling explained:
“As an industry leader in recycled plastics, it’s incredibly important that our processing plants operate and perform as efficiently as possible, so we’re keen to invest in innovative products and services which can help us deliver on that. That’s why we contacted IsoCool. We’ve worked with them previously and were delighted with the workmanship and the high quality of their cooling equipment. Importantly, IsoCool has a genuine commitment to energy saving and eco-solutions, so they were a great fit for us”.
IsoCool’s bespoke solution is designed to support three food contact extrusion lines, and includes a chilled water system to cool the pelletiser. Unable to provide sufficient long-term cooling capacity, the plant’s existing chiller was purchased by IsoCool for recycling and replaced with a high-efficiency NAX-S-A 280 Eurochiller air-cooled water chiller. This 282kW state-of-the-art chiller features high performance energy-efficient scroll compressors, an integrated stainless steel tank and pump arrangement, and special evaporator designed to operate with high volume water flow.
In order to provide an energy and water efficient cooling solution to the recycling lines, which require a cooling water temperature range of 8oC to 25oC, IsoCool installed a closed circuit cooling tower rather than a chiller. In addition, IsoCool utilised existing equipment to upgrade the pump set from two to three pumps, and the control system was advanced with a hi-tech Siemens touch screen control panel to allow comprehensive monitoring and operation of the systems.
Completing the job, IsoCool supplied, installed and commissioned all of the on-machine pipework for both processes – something that was very important to Closed Loop Recycling.
“The fact that IsoCool have all of the skills required for a project as big as this was ideal for us,” said Mr. Corbett. “It’s not only a lot easier and time saving to deal with one supplier, but it’s also reassuring to know that every stage of the work is being carried out with a guarantee of high quality.”
Since its commissioning, Closed Loop Recycling has reported that the new cooling system has exceeded expectations in terms of both performance and efficiency, while the upgraded controls have made a marked difference to system operations.
Delighted to have been part of the project, Nigel Hallett, Managing Director of IsoCool, commented:
“Supplying a high performance, high-efficiency cooling solution is always rewarding for us, but to contribute to an installation that will become the biggest milk bottle recycler in the world, breaking new ground in the recycled plastics industry, is fantastic.”