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Investigations into the suitability for recycling of engineering plastics from commercial durables

Objective

- To develop processes for collecting commercial durables and technical parts separately, separation and sorting, bulk or batchwise.
- To develop processes for recycling of engineering plastics which are neutral to the environment and residue impoverishment.
In this way a nearly complete recycling management with low rates of residues could be realized.
Instrument panels and headlight assemblies are being investigated as candidate 'products' for recycling. They clearly illustrate that dismantled assemblies still present the recycler with a complex mixture of plastics and nonpolymer items. However, the higher value engineering polymers used in such items appear to justify adoption of more sophisticated technologies. A thorough data set was compiled showing the response of the various polymer types to advanced bulk separation processes such as electrostatic separation and froth flotation and one can anticipate that broadening the range of techniques used will build on the success achieved so far in recovering high quality products. Integration of these processes with improved upstream management of such 'wastes' reduces the requirement for labour intensive dismantling and appears to offer a technically effective way forward.
The following post-consumer goods will be studied more closely: window frames, household appliances, disassembled structural components of scrapped cars and office machinery.

SAMPLING
Sampling includes the manual disassembly of the most diverse structural components from cars and household gadgets with simultaneous determination of fastening devices and mode as well as method and time of disassembly. The type, age and condition of the commodities are likewise to be determined and documented.

MICROSCOPIC AND MACROSCOPIC ANALYSIS
The phase is expected to provide information on the unit size, material composition, union and assembly of the structural components which have substantial influence on the selection of the crushing and grinding equipment.

PROCESS OPTIONS
The material characteristics determined in the preceding phases will be gathered. Based on this information, process options will be established for crushing, classifying, sorting and tested for their suitability.

Test series will be carried out to investigate and optimize the crushing equipment such as hammer mills, impact mills, jaw crushers and rotary cutters.

QUALITY TESTS
This phase will comprise quality tests with regard to the appication and suitability of the recycled polymers.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Metallgesellschaft AG
Address
Reuterweg 14
60323 Frankfurt Am Main
Germany

Participants (1)

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT DELFT
Netherlands
Address
Julianalaan 134
2628 BL Delft