Plastics Recycling

Recycling: Upcycling of Plastic Waste

Upcycling Makes Plastic Waste the Raw Material of the Future

Plastic bottles are finding new uses as recycled materials in electronic devices, cars or garden furniture. This is what is meant by upcycling: when recyclates are optimized in their properties to such an extent that they achieve a quality equivalent to that of primary material. This process turns plastic waste into a very valuable raw material of the future.

With our innovative technology solutions, plastics can be mechanically recycled and put to a new use without any loss of quality.

Plastics, such as those in the form of water bottles or production waste, are first collected and sorted. The material is then shredded into flakes for washing and cleaning.

High-accuracy feeders from Coperion K-Tron reliably feed the flakes into the Coperion extruder. There, the material is intensively homogenized together with additives, fillers and reinforcing materials, degassed and processed into pellets that correspond to virgin material in terms of quality. The recyclate has exactly the property profile required for its subsequent use.

Profitable Recycling and Upcycling of Post-Industrial Waste with ZSK Extruders

Coperion, Jochen Schofer

„ We’re convinced that becoming circular is unavoidable for the plastics industry. There is still a lot of room for improvement.”

Jochen Schofer , Business Segment Manager Recycling & Direct Extrusion at Coperion

Aurora Kunststoffe, a company located in Neuenstein / Germany and since end of 2019 member of MOL Group, is demonstrating how plastic waste can be recycled and upcycled profitably using Coperion technology. This producer of recompounds uses rejected parts accumulated from plastic components manufacturing as primary raw material and processes it into recycled, new-product-quality plastic compounds.

Once they pass quality control, the single-variety plastic parts are ground, fed into the compounding process and pelletized. To accomplish this, Aurora Kunststoff relies on Coperion ZSK technology. Within the ZSK twin screw extruders, the ground material is reliably homogenized with additives, fillers and reinforcing materials and devolatilized.

Following melt discharge from the die head at the end of the extruder’s process section, plastic strands are taken over by semi-automatic  strand conveying systems from Coperion Pelletizing Technology. They are automatically conveyed via a cooling water chute and a conveyor belt to the strand pelletizer’s feed mechanism, where they are cut to compounds whose quality corresponds to that of new material.

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Comprehensive product range

Coperion ZSK twin screw extruder

Twin screw extruders

Coperion twin screw extruders are the heart of our plants for upcycling plastics. Thanks to their intensive mixing and degassing performance, they are ideal for transforming plastic flakes into pellets with a specific property profile. In addition to vacuum domes and atmospheric degassing, gases can also be removed from the melt via the ZS-EG side degassing unit which increases product quality. Special wear protection solutions for all parts in contact with the product ensure the high quality of compounding in long term.

Coperion's ZS-B MEGAfeed Side Feeder

ZS-B MEGAfeed Side Feeder

Mechanical upcycling of fibers and flakes can now be done with high throughput in one process step. The recyclate no longer has to be melted (agglomerated/compacted) on one line and compounded on another. Thanks to the ZS-B MEGAfeed, the entire process is possible within one ZSK twin screw extruder – at extremely high throughput rates. Investment costs for the process are reduced, production becomes more efficient and energy consumption is significantly lower.

Coperion automatic strand conveying ASC


After the melt discharges the die head at the end of the extrusion process section, the plastic strands are pelletized. With the help of Coperion Pelletizing Technology's automatic or semi-automatic strand pelletizing system, this process step can be automated. The strands are then automatically transferred via a cooling water chute and downstream conveyor belt to the pelletizer, where they are cut into high-quality compounds.

Coperion K-Tron single and twins screw feeders over an extruder inlet

Feeding Equipment

Coperion K-Tron feeders are ideal for accurate feeding of raw ingredients into an extrusion process.  The wide range of products available includes twin screw feeders, single screw feeders, bulk solids pumps, vibratory feeders as well as other types in a variety of sizes and configurations. The K4G blending station allows up to six feeders to be arranged closely around an extruder inlet. Coperion K-Tron feeders ensure a continuous, uniform infeed with a very tight short-term accuracy and repeatability. Our engineers can help you find the right solution for your process.

Volumetric & gravimetric feeders

Material Handling Equipment

Our material handling systems are designed for the challenges of conveying recycled materials. Our designs can handle a variety of products from the flake materials to your finished pelletized products. Using cyclones or filter receivers we can help with a solution for your recycling process. 

Process Equipment
Coperion processing plant

Plants and Systems

Due to our comprehensive engineering expertise we design compounding lines for recyled products that ensure smooth interaction of all process steps – from material handling to feeding, twin screw extrusion up to pellet treatment and finished product handling.

Plastics Processing Plants
Coperion service technician


Coperion and Coperion K-Tron offer standardized and customized service packages for machines, plants and equipment. Our comprehensive range of services ensures reliability and maximum service life for your plastics upcycling plant.

Global Service


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