DuPont™ Sorona® and Carpet Recycling at the End of Life

While the DuPont™ Sorona® life cycle assessment only covers Cradle to Gate (the point at which the DuPont product is sold to another manufacturer), DuPont understands the important role carpet recycling plays in helping to reduce the environmental footprint over the whole life cycle.

That’s why DuPont looked at the end of the carpet’s useful life. DuPont research has proven that face fiber made with Sorona® can be shaved from the carpet backing, turned into pellets, and spun into new fiber. In fact, there are even more potential ways to recycle carpet made with Sorona®.

Several Ways to Recycle Carpet made with Sorona®

Sorona® PTT fiber is a thermoplastic material that, when used in any type of carpet, including carpet tiles, can be melted and reformed.  Given its short history in the marketspace, Sorona® PTT  fiber is not currently  included as recycled content in carpet, but that is expected to change one current installations reach end of life and the recycling infrastructure develops.  Existing carpet recycling facilities may not accept Sorona® PTT fiber for recycling today, but potential carpet recycling options are under exploration.

Sorona® Fiber-to-Fiber Recycle Test

DuPont conducted a test in which carpets made with Sorona® were sheared, then the fiber was melt-pelletized and blended with virgin Sorona® polymer. This polymer blend was spun into fiber using standard BCF melt-spinning equipment. The resulting carpet containing recycled fiber maintains excellent performance. This carpet recycling process is patent pending.

Sorona® Tile-to-Backing Recycle Test

In this test, carpet tiles made with Sorona® were chopped and then blended with virgin Sorona® polymer and melt-pelletized. This polymer blend was compression molded and/or injection molded. The resulting carpet demonstrates the compatibility of recycled Sorona® in standard flooring processes. This carpet recycling process is patent pending.

The Potential for Carpet Recycling

With both performance and measurable environmental benefits, it’s easy to see why Sorona® is the most revolutionary carpet material in decades.

 

Sorona® contains 37% annually renewable plant based ingredients by weight (28% biobased carbon)