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Primary recycling of polyolefin-mixed films for high-added value applications in the blow moulding industry

Objective

At the moment about 1.5 million Tonnes of plastic are being recycled yearly, 75% of which is polyethylene, both low density (LDPE) and high density (HDPE). Recycling of plastic film so far one is of the weakest points in all-recycling schemes. The reason for this failure is that post-consumer plastic film waste is usually a mixture of diverse plastics, specially polyethylene (LDPE, HDPE) and polypropylene (PP), all together comprising 95% of the total film. Although cleaning and separation of the polyolefins (LDPE, HDPE and PP) from the rest is easy using flotation or hydro-cycloning methods, individualisation of LDPE, HDPE and PP is difficult, since their respective densities are very similar while their variable shape do not allow the use of automated, sensor-based methods (such as use of near-infrared detection).

RECFINMIX proposes the Research and Development of a novel separation principle of LDPE, HDPE and PP films, based on the their differences in cristallinity. When heated, the plastic film contracts. Since LDPE has an amorphous area with a higher degree of freedom, it contracts at lower temperatures than both HDPE and PP. Thus, while at an operating temperature of around 100C, shredded LDPE film pieces will curl, equivalent pieces of HDPE and PP will not be altered at least until 120C, remaining therefore in lamellar structure. The change in dynamic shape suffered by the LDPE is enough for an accurate separation using centrifuges, obtaining highly marketable purified LDPE.

Call for proposal

FP6-2004-SME-COOP
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

Cooperative - SMEs-Co-operative research contracts

Coordinator

L'UREDERRA, FUNDACIÓN PARA EL DESARROLLO TECNOLÓGICO Y SOCIAL
Address
Plaza De Los Fueros S/n
Allo
Spain

Participants (10)

DR.ZABER SP.Z.O.O.
Poland
Address
Magazynowa 1
Nowy Sacz
MACHINEFABRIEK OTTO SCHOUTEN B.V
Netherlands
Address
Bedrijvenstraat 6
Giessen
MOKSLINIU PASLAUGU FIRMA GTV
Lithuania
Address
Dubysos G.11a
Kaunas
PERPLASTIC II SL
Spain
Address
Naval 11 - Polig. Ind. Cantabria
Logrono
PLASTIC HERVERWERKING BRAKEL BV
Netherlands
Address
Duikerweg 30
Waalwijk
RIOJANA NAVARRA DE PLASTICOS SL
Spain
Address
Poligono Industrial Andosilla Sector 2 Parcela 2
Andosilla (Navarra)
RONDOL TECHNOLOGY LTD
United Kingdom
Address
Unit 1/6, Opal Business Centre, Opal Way
Stone, Staffordshire
SMITHERS RAPRA LIMITED
United Kingdom
Address
Shawbury
Shrewsbury
UAB ´VILNIAUS VINGIO MECHANIKA`
Lithuania
Address
Savanoriu Av. 176
Vilnius
UNIVERSITY OF ZIELONA GORA
Poland
Address
Podgorna 50
Zielona Gora