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Piovan: Spearheading Odor Sensing Tech for Polymer Recycling

PiovanGroup pioneers automated systems for polymers, plastics, and food powders, offering innovative eco-friendly Industry 4.0 solutions

PiovanGroup leads the world in developing and producing automated systems for storing, transporting, and treating polymers, plastics, and food powders. The Group ensures global customer proximity by providing continuous technical assistance and support from the design to installation phase. Moreover, Piovan consistently pioneers research into highly efficient, integrated, eco-sustainable solutions that optimize raw material use, energy consumption, and align with Industry 4.0 technologies.

PiovanGroup’s dedication to continuous innovation in processes and technologies benefits customers, enabling the development of cutting-edge solutions in collaboration with end users.

In an exclusive interaction with The Interview World, Pavel Andrushchuk, Division Manager – Recycling, Piovan S.p.A, and Amit Bajaj, Country Manager – SAARC, Piovan India Pvt. Ltd., share insights into their latest technology offerings. They highlight the advanced odour sensing technology, discuss the global market potential for this innovation, and emphasize the opportunities within the Indian market. Here are the key insights from their interview.

Q: Can you provide an overview of the products and services offered by Piovan?

A: The PiovanGroup actively participates in the recycling industry, with a division dedicated to this sector. Our primary focus is on providing material handling solutions. One of our key products, Easypure, is a deodorizer specifically designed for polyethylene (PE) materials. This machine is uniquely integrated with an odour minder, which monitors and controls the odour levels, ensuring precise management of the raw material’s residence time during the drying process. This integration offers a comprehensive end-to-end solution.

Additionally, we offer inspection equipment, such as Inspecta, for acetaldehyde testing, and another instrument for benzene testing. Benzene levels are particularly significant in recycled PET due to the PVC content from labels. Monitoring benzene levels is crucial as it poses a health hazard, making our testing instruments essential for ensuring safety and compliance.

Q: Could you please elaborate on the underlying technology used in odor sensing and its applications?

A: The Odour Minder features an aluminum plate that senses molecules as airflow passes through it. This sensing mechanism sends a signal to the control unit, which determines the varying levels of odor. Consequently, the detected odor levels are communicated back to the main control panel for further action.

Q: Could you elaborate on the industries currently utilizing your machines?

A: Piovan is a global leader in the polymer industry, specializing in plastic automation. We excel in producing automation solutions for various processes, including material feeding, storage, drying, crystallizing, doping, and laboratory equipment. Our expertise encompasses everything related to granules, powder, and flakes, which we can move, dose, treat, and prepare. Consequently, we provide comprehensive upstream and downstream process automation for the polymer industry.

Q: How has Piovan adapted its automation solutions over the past few decades to address the challenges of processing and recycling post-consumer plastic materials?

A: The recycling process is relatively young, and for over 50 years, Piovan has produced automation solutions. A few decades ago, we had to adapt our technology to handle post-consumer plastic, which presents a significant challenge due to its contamination.

Post-consumer plastic is inherently dirty, which shortens the lifespan of equipment such as dryers, doping systems, and hopper loaders. These components require more maintenance and must possess more robust characteristics. This is the primary focus of our recycling range.

Piovan supplies automation solutions across various industries, and we have extended this expertise to the recycling sector. Our offerings include material handling, material storage, process automation, washing lines, optical sorting lines, extruder loading and unloading, and more. Specifically for recycling, we have introduced smell removal systems and laboratory equipment to measure contaminants and volatile organic compounds.

This new product range includes approximately ten new patents specifically developed for the recycling industry. From the beginning, Piovan has produced auxiliary equipment, which we have now redesigned to be stronger and more durable, with enhanced characteristics suited for processing post-consumer materials.

Q: Could you elaborate on how you address or remove toxicity from the material/process?

A: Here, we present a specially designed deodorizing device that effectively removes VOCs from materials, thereby eliminating odors.

Q: How does this device address the predominant environmental impact of polyolefins in global plastic pollution, facilitating their reuse for sustainable solutions?

A: I can specify the quantity of polyolefins, as the world predominantly focuses on PET (polyethylene terephthalate), which comprises only 15% of global plastic. In contrast, the majority of plastic found on roads, in oceans, and inside marine life is polyolefins, such as PE (polyethylene) and polypropylene. Therefore, this device is specifically designed to treat polyolefins, making them suitable for reuse.

Q: How do you perceive the current dynamics of the Indian market for these machines?

A: The Indian market holds significant potential due to its abundant feedstock and increasing focus on PET recycling. However, the major challenge lies in addressing polyolefins. With megatons of plastic bags, canisters, and various containers to recycle, the need to eliminate odors is crucial. We anticipate a market boom in the next few years. Our exclusive deodorizing process equipped with an electronic nose can influence this market. Furthermore, our technology not only removes odors but also measures the effectiveness of the process. This aligns with our secondary goal of achieving energy efficiency without incurring high costs. In essence, all our endeavors will play a catalytic role in influencing the market dynamics as well.

Easypure – The Odor and Contamination Removing System Designed by Piovan
Easypure – The Odor and Contamination Removing System Designed by Piovan


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