Non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) in recycled plastics

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Title: Non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) in recycled plastics
Authors: Horodytska, Oksana | Cabanes, Andrea | Fullana, Andres
Research Group/s: Residuos, Energía, Medio Ambiente y Nanotecnología (REMAN) | Ingeniería para la Economía Circular (I4CE)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ingeniería Química | Universidad de Alicante. Instituto Universitario de Ingeniería de los Procesos Químicos
Keywords: Mechanical-recycling | Plastics | Domestic-waste | Polyolefins | NIAS | IAS
Knowledge Area: Ingeniería Química
Issue Date: Jul-2020
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Chemosphere. 2020, 251: 126373. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.126373
Abstract: The demand for high quality recycled polymers in the European plastic industry is on the increase, likely due to the EU’s Plastic Strategy intended to implement the circular economy model in this sector. The problem is that there is not enough recycled plastic in the market. In terms of volume, post-consumer plastic waste could be key to meet the current and future demand. Nevertheless, a high level of contamination originated during the product’s life cycle restricts its use. The first step to change this must be identifying the undesired substances in post-consumer plastics and performing an effective risk assessment. The acquired knowledge will be fundamental for the development of innovative decontamination technologies. In this study, 134 substances including volatile and semi-volatile compounds have been identified in recycled LDPE and HDPE from domestic waste. Headspace and solvent extraction followed by GC/MS were used. The possible origin of each substance was studied. The main groups were additives, polymer and additives breakdown products, and contamination from external sources. The results suggest that recycled LDPE contains a broader number of additives and their degradation products. Some of them may cause safety concerns if reused in higher added value applications. Regarding recycled HDPE, the contaminants from the use phase are predominant creating problems such as intense odors. To reduce the number of undesired substances, it is proposed to narrow the variety of additives used in plastic manufacturing and to opt for separate waste collection systems to prevent cross-contamination with organic waste.
Sponsor: This work was supported by a grant from the University of Alicante as part of the InnoUA Transfer of Knowledge program and cofinanced by Cadel Deinking (Industrial Doctorate).
ISSN: 0045-6535 (Print) | 1879-1298 (Online)
DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.126373
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd.
Peer Review: si
Publisher version:
Appears in Collections:INV - I4CE - Artículos de Revistas
INV - REMAN - Artículos de Revistas

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