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Degradation of recycled high-impact polystyrene. Simulation by reprocessing and thermo-oxidation
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3572-7798
Instituto de Tecnología de Materiales (ITM), Universidad Politécnica de Valencia.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5394-7850
2006 (English)In: Polymer degradation and stability, ISSN 0141-3910, E-ISSN 1873-2321, Vol. 91, no 9, 2163-2170 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

 A simulation of the degradation of high-impact polystyrene (HIPS), occurring during service life and mechanical recycling, was performed by multiple processing and thermo-oxidative ageing. All samples were characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), melt mass-flow rate (MFR) measurements, tensile testing and infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Multiple processing and thermo-oxidative ageing clearly alter the oxidative stability and the elongation at break of the materials. These changes observed at a macroscopic scale have been related to chemical alterations in the structure of HIPS. The polybutadiene phase was demonstrated to be the initiation point of the degradative processes induced by processing, service life and mechanical recycling. Thermo-oxidative degradation affects more severely the degree of degradation of the material, so it may be deduced that the changes occurring during service life of HIPS are the part of the life cycle that mostly affects its further recycling possibilities and performance in second-market applications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 91, no 9, 2163-2170 p.
Keyword [en]
recycling, degree of degradation, high-impact polystyrene, reprocessing, thermo-oxidation
National Category
Polymer Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7224DOI: 10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2006.01.007ISI: 000238918200031Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-33744510923OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-7224DiVA: diva2:12170
Note
QC 20100907Available from: 2007-05-30 Created: 2007-05-30 Last updated: 2010-09-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Modelling the degradation processes in high-impact polystyrene during the first use and subsequent recycling
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modelling the degradation processes in high-impact polystyrene during the first use and subsequent recycling
2007 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Polymers are subjected to physical and chemical changes during their processing, service life, and further recovery, and they may also interact with impurities that can alter their composition. These changes substantially modify the stabilisation mechanisms and mechanical properties of recycled polymers. Detailed knowledge about how the different stages of their life cycle affect the degree of degradation of polymeric materials is important when discussing their further waste recovery possibilities and the performance of recycled plastics. A dual-pronged experimental approach employing multiple processing and thermo-oxidation has been proposed to model the life cycle of recycled high-impact polystyrene (HIPS). Both reprocessing and thermo-oxidative degradation are responsible for coexistent physical and chemical effects (chain scission, crosslinking, apparition of oxidative moieties, polymeric chain rearrangements, and physical ageing) on the microstructure and morphology of polybutadiene (PB) and polystyrene (PS) phases; these effects ultimately influence the long-term stability, and the rheological and mechanical behaviour of HIPS. The PB phase has proved to be the initiation point of HIPS degradation throughout the life cycle. Thermo-oxidation seems to have more severe effects on HIPS properties; therefore, it can be concluded that previous service life may be the part of the life cycle with the greatest influence on the recycling possibilities and performance of HIPS recyclates in second-market applications. The results from the life cycle degradation simulation were compared with those obtained from real samples from a large-scale mechanical recycling plant. A combination of different analytical strategies (thermal analysis, vibrational spectroscopy, and chromatographic analysis) is necessary to obtain a detailed understanding of the quality of recycled HIPS as defined by three key properties: degree of mixing, degree of degradation, and presence of low molecular weight compounds.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2007. 39 p.
Series
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2007:30
Keyword
Recycling; high-impact polystyrene; degradation; quality analysis; thermal analysis; vibrational spectroscopy; chromatography techniques; thermo-oxidation; reprocessing; dynamic mechanical properties; polybutadiene microstructure.
National Category
Polymer Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4407 (URN)978-91-7178-678-4 (ISBN)
Presentation
2007-06-07, E2, Osquars backe 14, Stokcholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101119Available from: 2007-05-30 Created: 2007-05-30 Last updated: 2010-11-19Bibliographically approved
2. Quality Assessment for the Improved Use of Recycled Styrenic Polymers: Application to packaging and electronic waste
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Quality Assessment for the Improved Use of Recycled Styrenic Polymers: Application to packaging and electronic waste
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

 Polymeric waste materials should be considered resources for the manufacture of new products through recycling processes, with a similar status as virgin fossil-based plastics and biopolymers from renewable resources. Several efforts can be done to achieve this qualitative quantum leap and introduce recycled products in the market with competitive performance. Detailed scientific knowledge about the degradation processes to which polymeric materials are subjected under their life cycle is important when discussing their further waste recovery possibilities and the performance of recycled plastic. The development of fast and reliable analytical methods for the quality assessment of recycled plastics is fundamental to guarantee their performance in new applications. Three key quality properties have been previously defined for this quality analysis: degree of mixing (composition), degree of degradation, and presence of low molecular weight compounds (degradation products, contaminants, additives).A dual experimental approach employing multiple processing and thermooxidation is proposed to model the life cycle of recycled high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) used in packaging applications, and in electrical and electronic equipment (E&E). Both reprocessing and thermo-oxidative degradation are responsible for coexistent physical and chemical effects (chain scission, crosslinking, apparition of oxidative moieties, polymeric chain rearrangements, and probably physical ageing) on the microstructure and morphology of polybutadiene (PB) and polystyrene (PS) phases; these effects ultimately influence the long-term stability, and the rheological and mechanical behaviour of HIPS. The PB phase has proved to be the initiation point of HIPS degradation throughout the life cycle. Thermo-oxidation seems to have more severe effects on HIPS properties; therefore, it can be concluded that previous service life may be the part of the life cycle with the greatest influence on the recycling possibilities and performance of HIPS recyclates in second-market applications.Different strategies are presented for the quality analysis of recycled styrenic polymers from packaging waste and electrical and electronic equipment. The results from the life cycle degradation simulation were compared with those obtained from real samples from a large-scale mechanical recycling plant. The presence and emission of low molecular weight compounds from recycled HIPS from packaging waste has been critically discussed using solvent and headspace extraction procedures. Special attention has been devoted to the determination of brominated flame retardants in recycled HIPS from electrical and electronic equipment using advanced extraction and chromatographic techniques, due to the legislative and environmental implications of these additives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2008. 57 p.
Series
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2008:63
National Category
Polymer Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4895 (URN)978-91-7415-112-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-10-09, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100920Available from: 2008-09-25 Created: 2008-09-17 Last updated: 2010-09-20Bibliographically approved

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