Setback for Recycling of Nylon from Carpets
Evergreen Nylon Recycling, the joint venture between Honeywell and DSM Chemicals (see EBN ), has ceased operations indefinitely. The facility was slated to process 200 million pounds (90 million kg) of used carpet annually, producing 100 million pounds (45 million kg) of caprolactam, the building block of nylon 6. Citing higher-than-expected production and operating costs, a glut of caprolactam on the market, and a weakening economy, Honeywell spokesman Robert Norman said the operation is “no longer viable under current economic conditions.” An article in the September 3, 2001 issue of Plastics News cited technical problems with the system that feeds post-consumer carpet into the processing area as a key trouble spot.
The plant is now mothballed, and its future depends on the results of a business reassessment that is currently under way. “The intention of the reassessment is to reopen the plant,” Norman reports, but at this point not even a timetable for a decision on reopening or final deactivation is available.
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