Long-term Properties of Sustainable Polymeric Materials: Mechanical Recycling and Use of Renewable Resources
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
New strategies for management of the accumulating amounts of plastic waste are required, to achieve a sustainable development in terms of material production and use. After service life, the materials should be recovered and recycled efficiently to provide a valuable resource for future applications. Optimised use of amended recycled polymeric materials, e.g. reinforced with natural fibres, and polymers from renewable resources give rise to polymeric materials with lower environmental impact. The recovery of plastic waste by means of mechanical recycling is a favourable route for preservation of raw materials and energy. Deficient knowledge about the overall quality of the recyclates, such as the degree of degradation, mixing and contamination, has resulted in restricted subsequent application of the recycled materials. Therefore, quality assessment of the recycled polymers is required for guaranteed performance in future applications.
Recycling and service life of polyolefins (PP and HDPE) were modelled by multiple reprocessing and thermo-oxidation. The material properties of the polyolefins were affected by both thermo-oxidation and thermo-mechanical degradation. PP showed higher susceptibility to reprocessing and elevated formation of low molecular weight compounds compared to HDPE. Release of the compounds during service life is anticipated on account of the extensive migration of these volatiles during thermal ageing.
Microenvironment chambers simulating outdoor environmental conditions were designed to monitor biofilm formation on silicon rubber composite materials. Furthermore, the microenvironments were successfully used to determine the long-term properties of biocomposites, consisting of conventional or biodegradable polymeric matrices and natural fibres as reinforcement, by subjecting the materials to a hydrolytic environment and microbiological degradation. Facilitated surface colonisation due to the presence of cellulose fibres in the composites was mainly attributed to water uptake. Biodegradation of PP biocomposites influenced mainly the surface properties whereas for PLA the bulk properties were also highly affected.
PP-clay nanocomposites were subjected to simulated environmental degradation by thermo-oxidation, daylight photo-oxidation and exposure to forest soil. Increased crystallinity and surface oxidation were detected after thermo-oxidation of the materials. The presence of clay promoted formation of carbonyl compounds during photo-oxidation and water uptake during exposure to soil.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2009. , 62 p.
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2009:44
Sustainable materials, mechanical recycling, polyolefin, reprocessing, accelerated ageing, chromatography, biofilm, microenvironment chamber, environmental degradation, biocomposite, nanocomposite
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-10934ISBN: 978-91-7415-402-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-10934DiVA: diva2:232730
2009-09-17, F3, KTH, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Ribes-Greus, Amparo, Professor
Karlsson, Sigbritt, Professor
QC 201008112009-09-032009-08-252010-08-11Bibliographically approved
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