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Evonik and Remondis cooperate on mattress recycling

The two companies want to cooperate in the recycling of polyurethane mattresses using a chemical process.


Chemicals group Evonik and waste management company Remondis have agreed to cooperate to reduce the proportion of non-recycled PUR foams and return more materials to the raw materials cycle, according to Evonik. In Europe, an estimated 250,000 tonnes of PUR foam from used mattresses are incinerated or landfilled every year, they say. Evonik says it has developed a hydrolysis process that should make it possible to recover the main components of PUR foam and process them into high-quality building blocks for new mattresses. According to Evonik, the process can recover raw materials of significantly higher quality than conventional recycling technologies. The increased use of recycled materials reduces dependence on fossil raw materials, Evonik emphasises. In addition, according to current findings, the process has a significantly lower CO2 footprint compared to mattress production with fossil raw materials. The technology is currently being tested in a pilot plant in Hanau. In a next step, the recycling is to be tested in a larger demonstration plant. The goal is to develop a scalable technology and a business model that can be expanded internationally. Remondis is to ensure the supply of used mattress foams and sort PUR foams from waste into an input stream of consistent quality. Dr. Patrick Glöckner, Head of Evonik's Global Circular Economy Programme, says of the cooperation agreement: "By working with Remondis, we can create functioning circularity from linear value chains. True circularity only works in networks, so we are actively expanding our collaborations.
In the photo (from left): Thomas Wessel, Evonik's Executive Board Member for Human Resources and Labour Relations and responsible for sustainability on the Executive Board, Jürgen Ephan, Managing Director of Remondis Recycling GmbH & Co. KG, and Patrick Glöckner, Head of Evonik's Global Circular Economy Programme.

  • (Sept. 14, 2023)
  • Photo: © Evonik Industries, Frank Preuss

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