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The Mechanics of Forming Ideal Polymer–Solvent Combinations for Open-Loop Chemical Recycling of Solvents and Plastics

Ioannis Tsampanakis, Alvin Orbaek White Orcid Logo

Polymers, Volume: 14, Issue: 1, Start page: 112

Swansea University Authors: Ioannis Tsampanakis, Alvin Orbaek White Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.3390/polym14010112

Abstract

The inherent value and use of hydrocarbons from waste plastics and solvents can be extended through open-loop chemical recycling, as this process converts plastic to a range of non-plastic materials. This process is enhanced by first creating plastic−solvent combinations from multiple sources, which...

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Published in: Polymers
ISSN: 2073-4360
Published: MDPI AG 2021
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa59073
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This process is enhanced by first creating plastic&#x2212;solvent combinations from multiple sources, which then are streamlined through a single process stream. We report on the relevant mechanics for streamlining industrially relevant polymers such as polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) into chemical slurries mixed with various organic solvents such as toluene, xylene, and cyclohexane. The miscibility of the polymer feedstock within the solvent was evaluated using the Relative Energy Difference method, and the dissolution process was evaluated using the &#x201C;Molecular theories in a continuum framework&#x201D; model. These models were used to design a batch process yielding 1 tonne/h slurry by setting appropriate assumptions including constant viscosity of solvents, disentanglement-controlled dissolution mechanism, and linear increase in the dissolved polymer&#x2019;s mass fraction over time. 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spelling 2022-01-19T16:31:28.2282603 v2 59073 2022-01-04 The Mechanics of Forming Ideal Polymer–Solvent Combinations for Open-Loop Chemical Recycling of Solvents and Plastics 781af6e0d2ee632a1943c88f3a526baa Ioannis Tsampanakis Ioannis Tsampanakis true false 8414a23650d4403fdfe1a735dbd2e24e 0000-0001-6338-5970 Alvin Orbaek White Alvin Orbaek White true false 2022-01-04 The inherent value and use of hydrocarbons from waste plastics and solvents can be extended through open-loop chemical recycling, as this process converts plastic to a range of non-plastic materials. This process is enhanced by first creating plastic−solvent combinations from multiple sources, which then are streamlined through a single process stream. We report on the relevant mechanics for streamlining industrially relevant polymers such as polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) into chemical slurries mixed with various organic solvents such as toluene, xylene, and cyclohexane. The miscibility of the polymer feedstock within the solvent was evaluated using the Relative Energy Difference method, and the dissolution process was evaluated using the “Molecular theories in a continuum framework” model. These models were used to design a batch process yielding 1 tonne/h slurry by setting appropriate assumptions including constant viscosity of solvents, disentanglement-controlled dissolution mechanism, and linear increase in the dissolved polymer’s mass fraction over time. Solvent selection was found to be the most critical parameter for the dissolution process. The characteristics of the ideal solvent are high affinity to the desired polymer and low viscosity. This work serves as a universal technical guideline for the open-loop chemical recycling of plastics, avoiding the growth of waste plastic by utilising them as a carbon feedstock towards a circular economy framework. Journal Article Polymers 14 1 112 MDPI AG 2073-4360 plastic waste, chemical recycling, mathematical modelling, carbon feedstock, circular economy, open-loop recycling, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polystyrene, toluene 29 12 2021 2021-12-29 10.3390/polym14010112 COLLEGE NANME COLLEGE CODE Swansea University A.O.W. is funded through the Sêr Cymru II Fellowship by the Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). A.O.W. acknowledges funding from the Welsh Government Circular Economy Capital Fund FY 2020-21. I.T. is funded by the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS). KESS is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys. I.T. is part funded by TRIMTABS Ltd. through the KESS2 program. 2022-01-19T16:31:28.2282603 2022-01-04T16:41:16.8268183 Faculty of Science and Engineering School of Engineering and Applied Sciences - Uncategorised Ioannis Tsampanakis 1 Alvin Orbaek White 0000-0001-6338-5970 2 59073__22013__5344f59c51ad40df874d7c0f2f1e1533.pdf polymers-14-00112.pdf 2022-01-04T16:41:16.8267879 Output 980903 application/pdf Version of Record true © 2021 by the authors. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license true eng https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
title The Mechanics of Forming Ideal Polymer–Solvent Combinations for Open-Loop Chemical Recycling of Solvents and Plastics
spellingShingle The Mechanics of Forming Ideal Polymer–Solvent Combinations for Open-Loop Chemical Recycling of Solvents and Plastics
Ioannis Tsampanakis
Alvin Orbaek White
title_short The Mechanics of Forming Ideal Polymer–Solvent Combinations for Open-Loop Chemical Recycling of Solvents and Plastics
title_full The Mechanics of Forming Ideal Polymer–Solvent Combinations for Open-Loop Chemical Recycling of Solvents and Plastics
title_fullStr The Mechanics of Forming Ideal Polymer–Solvent Combinations for Open-Loop Chemical Recycling of Solvents and Plastics
title_full_unstemmed The Mechanics of Forming Ideal Polymer–Solvent Combinations for Open-Loop Chemical Recycling of Solvents and Plastics
title_sort The Mechanics of Forming Ideal Polymer–Solvent Combinations for Open-Loop Chemical Recycling of Solvents and Plastics
author_id_str_mv 781af6e0d2ee632a1943c88f3a526baa
8414a23650d4403fdfe1a735dbd2e24e
author_id_fullname_str_mv 781af6e0d2ee632a1943c88f3a526baa_***_Ioannis Tsampanakis
8414a23650d4403fdfe1a735dbd2e24e_***_Alvin Orbaek White
author Ioannis Tsampanakis
Alvin Orbaek White
author2 Ioannis Tsampanakis
Alvin Orbaek White
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institution Swansea University
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publisher MDPI AG
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description The inherent value and use of hydrocarbons from waste plastics and solvents can be extended through open-loop chemical recycling, as this process converts plastic to a range of non-plastic materials. This process is enhanced by first creating plastic−solvent combinations from multiple sources, which then are streamlined through a single process stream. We report on the relevant mechanics for streamlining industrially relevant polymers such as polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) into chemical slurries mixed with various organic solvents such as toluene, xylene, and cyclohexane. The miscibility of the polymer feedstock within the solvent was evaluated using the Relative Energy Difference method, and the dissolution process was evaluated using the “Molecular theories in a continuum framework” model. These models were used to design a batch process yielding 1 tonne/h slurry by setting appropriate assumptions including constant viscosity of solvents, disentanglement-controlled dissolution mechanism, and linear increase in the dissolved polymer’s mass fraction over time. Solvent selection was found to be the most critical parameter for the dissolution process. The characteristics of the ideal solvent are high affinity to the desired polymer and low viscosity. This work serves as a universal technical guideline for the open-loop chemical recycling of plastics, avoiding the growth of waste plastic by utilising them as a carbon feedstock towards a circular economy framework.
published_date 2021-12-29T04:11:02Z
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