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Recycling of multicomponent polymer materials by structural modification using reactive and catalyzed thermomechanical processing under high shear rates

Grant number: 20/14318-6
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2021 - November 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal researcher:Clodoaldo Saron
Grantee:Clodoaldo Saron
Home Institution: Escola de Engenharia de Lorena (EEL). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Lorena , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The discard of polymer waste has led to serious damages to the environment on a global scale, affecting the human health and several ecosystems, mainly in aquatic systems. Polyolefins (polyethylene and polypropylene) are highlighted due to its world consumption above 50% of the entire polymers production as well as its application in large scale for package, which present a short lifetime cycle. Recycling is the main alternative to decrease the negative impact of the polymers use, since it leads to a decrease of the raw material consumption and discard of polymer waste as well as the generation of economic benefits. However, several polymer waste are constituted by a complex mixture of polymers generated from multilayers polymer films or others compositions that makes unviable the segregation process of the materials in the steps of the mechanical recycling, leading to the formation of polymer blends with poor properties and low commercial value. The aim of this research is the study of the recycling of complex mixture of post-consume polymer waste using high shear rate and catalysts with the purpose of generating structural changes in the material to improve the compatibility of the polymer blends intrinsically generated in the process and lead to a better performance of the material properties, mainly the mechanical properties. It is expected that the formation of copolymers and chemical bonds between polymer components would be a fundamental condition to the successful results. The development of new methods for recycling with higher technical viability is an incentive to increase the polymer recycling index, mainly for polyolefins. The study about structural modifications in polymers using catalysts and mechanical processing under high shear rate is a scientific field to be still explored. (AU)

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