ViscoZero turns out food-grade recyclate

March 29, 2023
Starlinger Viscotec's decontamination reactor can handle post-consumer and post-industrial PS, PP, PE and HDPE.

By Ron Shinn

Starlinger Viscotec has introduced a melt-phase decontamination reactor that gives recyclers the ability to produce food-grade recycled resin from a wide range of materials.

“This is the holy grail for recycling,” said Christian Winkler, area sales manager for the Viscotec division of Starlinger GmbH, in an interview in February at the Plastics Recycling Conference. “We are the first company with this technology.”

The ViscoZero can produce food-grade recyclate from PS, PP, PE and HDPE. It also can increase the intrinsic viscosity of PET.

The ViscoZero makes it possible to recycle post-consumer and post-industrial waste without the downward spiral of the resulting material having to be used in lower-grade applications, known as downcycling, the company said. This benefits the environment and creates business opportunities for recyclers, Viscotec said.

The decontamination reactor is sold as part of a complete recycling line, or it can be retrofitted into an existing line. It is stationed near the beginning of the line.

After the recycling extruder, the input material is processed in the ViscoZero in liquid form and under vacuum. The ViscoZero unit can accept post-industrial fibers and textiles, skeleton waste and strapping, as well as post-consumer flake. Recycled PET food-grade pellets can be produced in just a few minutes, the company said.

Viscotec uses “zero” in the name of the decontamination unit because it produces zero waste, leaves material with zero odor and zero contamination, and is flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of input materials.

Having an odorless recyclate is especially important for food packaging.

There are two models: the ViscoZero 600 and ViscoZero 1500. The 600 and 1500 describe the net volume of the reactor in cubic decimeters.

The ViscoZero 600 has an output of 882 pounds per hour to 1,764 pounds per hour. Residence time ranges from 10 to 40 minutes. Floor-space dimensions are 16 feet, 5 inches, by 9 feet, 10 inches, and the reactor is 7 feet, 3 inches high.

The ViscoZero 1500 has an output of 1,764 pounds per hour to 3,527 pounds per hour. Residence time ranges from 15 to 40 minutes. Floorspace dimensions are 19 feet, 8 inches, by 13 feet, 1 inch, and it is 7 feet, 3 inches high.

Starlinger Group is based in Vienna. The Viscotec division is based in St. Martin, Austria.  

Ron Shinn, editor

[email protected]


American Starlinger-Sahm Inc., Fountain Inn, S.C., 864-297-1900,

About the Author

Ron Shinn | Editor

Editor Ron Shinn is a co-founder of Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing and has been covering the plastics industry for more than 35 years. He leads the editorial team, directs coverage and sets the editorial calendar. He also writes features, including the Talking Points column and On the Factory Floor, and covers recycling and sustainability for PMM and Plastics Recycling.