Infimer: composite thermoplastic material produced from unsorted waste
A lot of waste is, unfortunately, not recycled. Part of the reason why this does not happen is because sorting the types of waste takes a lot of effort and can be expensive. But what would happen if you didn’t have to sort it? A company called Infimer has found a way to treat unsorted municipal solid waste and turn it into a new sustainable composite by the same name.
Infimer is a composite thermoplastic material. The production process includes two main steps. The first step consists of a continuous and cost effective process of waste separation, separating organic lignocelluloses and plastics from the minerals, including metals, sand, and glass. The other step consists of squeezing and grinding the organic matter and plastics, subjecting it as a feedstock to a special reactor-extruder. Here, the material Infimer is created using shearing forces, pressure, and heat. The material is then turned into pellets and cooled.
One major advantage of this process is that there is no need for conventional pre-treatment or sorting and washing procedures. The company says that Infimer is infinitely recyclable and retains its initial physical properties, as opposed to normal plastic, which degrades over time.
Infimer can be used as a raw material in the plastics industry, but it is not similar to any existing plastic material. It can bind and compound with other materials, such as plastics, rubber, wood, and more. In addition, it has, according to the website, a high resistance to UV light and very low temperatures.