PDR reaches for new business areas

In June 2018, the PDR Recycling GmbH + Co. KG
celebrated their 25th anniversary. For the expert in recycling of PU foam cans and HP printer cartridges, the festivities came at the dawn of a new era.

In the anniversary year, PDR is going to open up and develop two new business fields. So in the past two years, the company, in cooperation with scientists from the RWTH Aachen, developed and patented a technology for the recycling of industrial sand papers. The Deutsche Stiftung Umwelt funded this research program due to its environmental relevance. The second new project is the recycling of toner cartridges for laser printers. Moreover, technological innovations in the core business of PU foam-can recycling are coming up. 

Sand papers, as they are used in industry, contain high-grade abrasive particles, for instance, industrial diamonds, silicon carbide or corundum. In production, residues arise, whose valuable raw materials have simply been disposed of so far. Thanks to the newly developed technology, the contained abrasive grains can be recycled in their original size and returned into the production process. “The developed process reflects the strengths of PDR, i.e. the separation and processing of substance mixtures and composite materials,” comments PDR Managing Director Dr. Thomas Hillebrand. “Now it is time to convince business partners of the economic and ecological advantages of this procedure,” he continues. Hillebrand’s vision is to create a European industry solution for sand papers, where all production residues will be processed by PDR. First discussions with the producer and the Association of German Abrasive Manufacturers have already taken place.

The second new project, the recycling of toner cartridges by PDR, has already been started. Europe-wide, several hundred tons of used toner cartridges accrue each month. PDR wants to recover the iron and aluminium as well as the plastics contained therein to return them into the economic cycle at attractive market prices. Unlike in the case of their core business, i.e. the material recovery of PU foam cans and printer cartridges, PDR do not run their own plant, but collect, from professional collectors, toner cartridges which are no longer suitable for refill and organize the transport to the recycling plant in other European countries. Following the successful start at the beginning of 2017, PDR Managing Director Thomas Hillebrand intends to extend this business area. In two or three years, they will decide whether or not to build their own facility in Thurnau.

Innovations in PDR’s core business, the PU foam can recycling, are coming up as well. In the years to come, PDR want to improve the recycling technology for 1-component-PU-foams and find a process that would do without the application of solvents. “Even good things can be improved“, Managing Director Hillebrand is convinced. “This includes the further development of the existing systems just like the departure to new horizons. 25 years after its foundation, the PDR is well-positioned in both areas. One thing, however, has remained the same since 1993: We rely on innovative technologies and a high level of material recovery.”

Innovative technologies and a high
level of material recovery

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