Quality Assessments of Recycled Plastics by Spectroscopy and Chromatography
Quality assessments will be important for improved use of recycled polymeric materials. Ongoing preparation of new standards in the area of recycled polymers needs an overview of which properties and thus which polymer characterisation methods that will be important for that purpose. We suggest three polymeric properties as important for this work; these are degree of mixing (composition), degree of degradation and number and amount of low molecular weight compounds (e.g. degradation products, additives, flavour compounds). DSC showed increased degradation as multi modality for LDPE materials obtained from three different sites in a recycling plant. IR demonstrated that the carbonyl index increased during the various steps going from collected material to new product. GC chromatograms obtained for collected film flakes, processed granules and ready-made bags were quite complex with a series of hydrocarbons among other compounds. The recycling process seems, however, to remove some of the low molecular weight compounds found in the incoming dirty material.
KeywordsGas chromatography Differential scanning calorimetry IR spectroscopy Recycling polymeric materials
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