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Technological innovation in the recycling of plastic bottles from gas stations

Grant number: 98/09606-7
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: April 01, 1999 - October 31, 1999
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering - Environmental Sanitation
Principal researcher:João Antonio Galbiatti
Grantee:João Antonio Galbiatti
Company:Comércio de Ferro Velho Moretti Ltda
City: Piracicaba


The present project’s objective is to study and develop processes for the recovery and recycling of lubrication oils, additives and high density polyethylene (HPDE) originating from leftover bottles at gas stations. In addition, a further objective is to develop systems for the capture of this raw material with a view, ultimately, to developing a viable program for the return to a useful life of these residual pollutants. Therefore the studies involve: the verification of the procedures most appropriate for the capture of throw-away bottles; the verification of the frequency necessary for the removal of collected residues; studies of the processes of decontamination of the HPDE bottles, with the removal of the residual oil and of foreign material (tops, seals, paper); improvement in the HPDE recycling process; improvement in the recycled granules (HPDE) production process, as well as the production of plastic bottles from granules of recycled HPDE. Brazil consumes per year close to 900 million liters of lubricant oil, of which 60 per cent is for automobile oils and 40 per cent for industry. During its use, part of the lubricant is burned or incorporated into the final product, leaving somewhere between 250 and 300 million liters of waste oil per year. Only around 100 million of liters of this oil per year go to refining. The remainder is discarded into the ground or into water or burned, almost always in an inadequate manner (one liter of oil is capable of removing the oxygen from 1 million liters of water). Gas stations discard into the environment HPDE bottles contaminated with lubricant oil and additives. Since its biodegradable rate is extremely low (over one hundred years) these bottles reduce the useful life of rubbish dumps and landfills. (AU)

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