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Recycled PET drying and dehumidifying by infrared irradiation

Grant number: 17/15852-3
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: July 01, 2018 - March 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal Investigator:Thales Albuquerque Fabiano
Grantee:Thales Albuquerque Fabiano
Host Company:Global Pet Reciclagem Ltda. - EPP
CNAE: Fabricação de embalagens de material plástico
City: São Carlos


This proposal aims to study the feasibility of implanting a PET bottle recycled scraps drying system using infrared (IR) irradiation. The process conventionally used is convective drying through dry air flow and heated in silos developed for that purpose. The principle of IR irradiation drying is based on the heating of PET flakes provided by the absorption of this radiation by the PET molecules. The vibrations of their molecules under IR radiation reach sufficient temperatures for their drying and dehumidification. This same type of radiation also heats and vaporizes the water by the same principle, either in the pure liquid state, or in the absorbed state in the polymeric structure of the PET. The heating of both the PET and water molecules occurs from within the structure, without interference of the medium between the source of irradiation and the substrate under drying. Thus, this process is more efficient than the convective and consumes less energy for drying because it requires less time. The proposal to replace one of the dryer drier silos by IR irradiation is to reduce drying time, energy expenditure and achieve a moisture content low enough to prevent hydrolytic degradation during the pelletizing process of extruded flakes. According to estimates presented in this proposal, the replacement of the convective dryer by the IR irradiation dryer can reduce the drying time in a granule extrusion line by up to 2.7 hours for a production of 800 kg / hr of extruded pellets. These expectations enable a significant increase in productivity for the production line as a whole and are expected to reduce the current moisture content of convectively dried flakes from 1000 ppm to 200 ppm. The feasibility study of this proposal establishes research planning to analyze scientific and technological aspects not yet investigated by the specific literature. One of these aspects is the effect of IR irradiation on PET flakes after the drying period. In the post-drying stage of flakes it is still possible to continue to reduce the moisture content under rest to the action of IR radiation. The effects of radiation on the crystallization of flakes will also be analyzed, since the increase of its crystallinity may interfere with the diffusion of water molecules during dehumidification. Aspects of productivity and economic will also be analyzed to verify the feasibility of this proposal. (AU)

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