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Coperion technology plays a key role in the global manufacture of high-quality compounds. We have acquired an excellent reputation in recent years in markets where such compounds are made from recycled plastics. Today, ambitious recycling companies worldwide are using Coperion’s technology, motivated by the uniformly high quality of the finished product and the high achievable throughput rates.

Coperion designs complete recycling systems. We ensure the smooth interaction of all process steps from material handling to feeding, twin screw extrusion, pellet treatment (cooling, drying, homogenization) and finished product handling. Our plants provide maximum productivity and efficiency.

Coperion Plastics Recycling Technology

Successful Plastics Recycling

Recycling experts from Coperion met on location at Aurora Kunststoffe, the successful recycling company, to exchange thoughts and ideas.

Read the whole interview about circular economy and the challenges in feeding, handling and compounding bulk secondary raw material.

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Video: Coperion solutions on plastics recycling

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Learn more about why circular economy is becoming increasingly important for the plastics industry and for which recycling applications Coperion offers technology solutions.
Coperion Plastics Recycling Technology

Coperion Multi-Layer Film Recycling

Recycling multi-layer film has long posed a challenge since such films can only be reclaimed in very complicated ways and not without residues. Now, however, Coperion has developed a closed-loop approach solution in which up to 100 percent of multi-layer film production waste can be re-processed and fed back into the production process in a closed-loop.

Multi-layer film waste resulting during the production process is shredded as a first step before it is fed into the ZSK extruder via pneumatic conveying and highly accurate feeding from Coperion K-Tron. There, the material is homogenized and devolatilized with very high intensity in the co-rotating ZSK Mc¹⁸ twin screw extruder. Within the extruder, dispersion and devolatilization performance are crucial to end product quality — with gentle product handling and very good mixing behavior even at very high throughput rates, thus achieving consistently high product quality.

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Video: Coperion Multi-Layer Film Recycling

Direct Compounding of PET

Especially in the large market segment of packaging, PET plays an ever greater role – particularly due to the growing expansion of single- and multi-use bottles made from PET. Accordingly, it can be lucrative for recycling companies to focus on this material. The twin screw extruder’s advantages are useful in processing PET, for example, in the form of bottle flakes, due in large part to the hygroscopic property of the plastic. Prior to compounding, recyclates must normally be predryed, crystallized, or agglomerated using single screw extruders. In contrast, using a specialized technology from Coperion, shredded PET can be compounded directly – predrying, crystallization and agglomeration of the recyclate are necessary only to a limited extent. This direct processing into films, fibers, or bottles increases product quality. At the same time, it leads to savings in operational costs and energy use as well as reduced logistics expenditures. This procedure has proven its value especially at very high throughputs of 500-6,000 kg/h.

Advantages of processing PET with twin screw extruders in comparison with the single screw method

  • Very high quality of the end product because only a minimum iV degradation occurs during processing and the crystal clear material does not become yellowish
  • High flexibility because recipes and colors can be changed very quickly due to the good self-cleaning behavior of the twin screw extruder
  • Much simpler logistics because pelletized new product and different regenerates (ground product, agglomerates, flakes) can be processed together even if they have different iV values
  • Energy and time savings as the pre-drying and crystallization are omitted in the single-stage production proces


Coperion provides complete systems for deodorization combining extruder and silo deodorization.

Coperion twin screw side devolatilization unit ZS-EG
Coperion's side devolatilization unit ZS-EG

Odor reduction within the twin screw compounder

Before recyclate can be processed, the waste plastic must first be broken down, cleaned and then separated according to type. From this, regrind and ground product result which then can be delivered via conveying lines and feeders to the compounding process. The twin screws of the Coperion extruders melt the raw materials and mixes them. The melt is devolatilized and conveyed towards the extruder’s discharge. Thanks to the high torque and optimally adjusted process parameters of Coperion twin screw compounders and thanks to the constant renewal of the melt surface, homogenization and devolatilization of recyclates take place with markedly higher intensity than with the single screw extruder. This also has a positive effect with regards to odors that may be present in the secondary raw material.

Depending on the specific plastics recycling application Coperion equips the process section of the twin screw compounders with devolatilization units. Or the twin screw side devolatilization ZS-EG is installed. With its large free cross section for the devolatilization, the ZS-EG keeps the melt reliably in the process section even at maximum specific torque. Odor is removed effectively and product quality is improved.

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Odors reduction within silos

Beside removement of odor within the twin screw extruders, Coperion offers solutions for the devolatilization of bulk material within silos. Some recycled compounds may contain a certain amount of volatile material, which can cause unpleasant smell and taste. For this process step the product is typically stored in a silo for an appropriate time and conditioned air is fed to the silo to reduce the volatiles content. This devolatilization process step increases product quality which is required in many industries (e.g. automotive, packaging, etc.).

In order to improve the process and shorten the deodorization time inside the silos, Coperion also offers the heat exchanger Bulk-X-Change (BXC) to heat up the material prior to entering the silo. In addition, the BXC can be used to cool down the material after the degassing process again in order to secure more gently conveying to keep the product quality high.

In order to determine the optimal parameters for odor reduction in the silo, devolatilization and deodorizing tests can be carried out in the Coperion Test Center where previously determined values with regard to air flow, humidity, pressure, temperature, and operational duration are verified.

Upcycling in a single process step

A powerful, energy and time-saving innovation: COREMA® combines the benefits of recycling and compounding in a single plant. This system produces tailor-made tunable recycling compounds for especially high quality applications.

Recycling raw materials such as PP fleece, PE edge trim, PA fibres are transformed into a filtered melt using proven, robust EREMA technology which is then fed directly to the Coperion co-rotating twin screw extruder.

With its excellent mixing and gas removal properties, this part of the system can handle all compounding tasks. Besides the dosing of a wide variety of additives, high amounts of fillers and reinforcing agents can be admixed.

Plastics Recycling

Comprehensive product range


Extruders and Compounding Machines

Coperion twin screw extruders are at the heart of the direct recycling process. With their good processing properties and high devolatilization performance Coperion’s twin screw extruders are suitable for the processing of new materials and of all types of ground products or recyclates as well as mixing of these materials. Films, fibers or injection molding pellets can be produced inline in one process step.

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

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.


From single spare parts to total service agreements Coperion and Coperion K-Tron provide comprehensive services for PET processing lines – all with focus to optimal performance of your plants and systems.


Coperion Glossary

Circular Economy
A circular economy is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources.

Resource Material
Plastic is viewed as a resource material, since significant energy is used in its manufacture (base material petroleum or natural gas) and it can be recycled well. Refuse is presorted, crushed, and then processed into high-value regenerate which is then reused in the plastics industry, closing the loop.

Post-Consumer Waste
Post-consumer waste is waste originating from users, i.e., individual persons, households, and offices.

Post-Industrial Waste
Post-industrial waste is waste material resulting from manufacturing or production.

Chemical Recycling
Using chemical recycling, fossil-based resources can be replaced by material recycled from plastic waste. Using thermochemical processes, plastic waste is transformed and recycled into raw materials, whereby new products with outstanding product characteristics result, based upon recycled plastic waste.

Mechanical Recycling
The term mechanical recycling designates the mechanical processing of used plastics. The chemical structure remains unchanged.

Thermal Utilization
Incineration of plastics; should take place whenever possible in waste incineration plants equipped for this purpose in order to filter out highly toxic substances that are released during incineration, such as dioxins, furans, mercury, cadmium, lead, etc.

Processing of lower-value recyclates, transforming them to higher-value compounds.

Odour reduction
When recycling plastics, there is often the difficulty that the plastic reused and the recyclates made from it have strong odours. For example, post-consumer plastic waste contains migrated substances from food, cosmetics or cleaning agents. At the same time, residues of monomers, oxidation, hydrolysis and decomposition products can be responsible for the unwanted odours. Odour reduction measures can be taken in various process steps of plastics production and processing. Coperion offers both technologies for degassing during compounding processes and for odour reduction in silos.

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