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Journal Articles Polymers Year : 2022

Implications of the Circular Economy in the Context of Plastic Recycling: The Case Study of Opaque PET

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Abstract

The use of recycled opaque PET (r-O-PET, with TiO 2) as a reinforcement for the recycled polypropylene matrix (r-PP) was evaluated through the life cycle assessment according to different scenarios corresponding to two different recycled blends and considered two virgin raw plastic material as reference materials when comparing the environmental performance of the proposed treatments. The results indicate that the environmental performance was quite different for each blend, since the additional extrusion process required in scenario 2 (blend with TiO 2) causes all impact categories analysed to report higher values when compared with scenario 1 (blend without TiO 2). The stage that contributes the most corresponds to the different extrusion processes included in both recycling blends, representing at least 80% of the total for global warming. Compared with virgin raw materials, the blend with TiO 2 showed better performance in all the impact categories analysed in comparison with virgin PA66, while the blend without TiO 2 showed the opposite trend when compared to PP. Furthermore, the fact that the upcycling treatment was carried out on a pilot scale provides room for improvement when implemented on a full scale. It is worth noting the high energy consumption of the treatment processes and their associated cost, in addition to the market cost of virgin raw materials, however, when considering the environmental cost of raw materials, it is observed that when substituting virgin materials PP and PA66 for the blends evaluated in this study results in a reduction of the environmental price of up to 2.5 times.
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Dates and versions

hal-03879788 , version 1 (30-11-2022)

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Noel León Albiter, Orlando Santana Pérez, Magali Klotz, Kishore Ganesan, Félix Carrasco, et al.. Implications of the Circular Economy in the Context of Plastic Recycling: The Case Study of Opaque PET. Polymers, 2022, 14 (21), pp.4639. ⟨10.3390/polym14214639⟩. ⟨hal-03879788⟩
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