The Flotation by Selected Depressants as an Efficient Technique for Separation of a Mixed Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, Polycarbonate and Polyoxymethyleneplastics in Waste Streams

  • Mohammad Reza Davari
  • Saeed Ostad MovahedEmail author
Original paper


The virgin acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polycarbonate (PC) and polyoxy methylene (POM) available in a plastic mix were separated from each other by a flotation technique with the aid of several depressants. Also, a Design-Expert® statistical software was used to predict plastics flotation using input data including conditioning time, flotation tank temperature and pH and depressants concentration. It revealed that the flotation technique was effective for separation of studied plastics by selected depressants. Understanding the adsorption–desorption phenomena and effective parameters on this process was crucial to explain the activity and selectivity of a depressant on a plastic surface. The increasing conditioning time up to 15 min had adverse effect on the floatability of the all studied plastics conditioned with tannic acid (TA). TA and methyl isobutyl carbinol (MIBC) had not any effect on floatability of PC and POM in all studied depressant concentrations. The flotation of ABS reached to 85% for flotation tank pH of 6.5 with 15 min depressant conditioning at 35 °C as flotation tank temperature. A complicate phenomenon involved and predominated in flotation of studied plastics. Proposed equations by Design-Expert® predicted close plastic flotation values when compared with corresponding experimental values.


Depressant Engineering plastic Flotation Plastics mix Recycling 



The authors sincerely thank the staffs of the AKAM company laboratory located in MarkazRoshd, the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad for their sincere cooperation. Approval no. 3/45811.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have not any financial/commercial conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of ScienceFerdowsi University of MashhadMashhadIran

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