Professor Kim Ragaert and her team at the CAPTURE Resource Recovery Centre - Ghent University, Belgium, have released this paper on Mechanical Recycling. Click here to download the complete paper.
"It’s a bit unusual perhaps, to name this introductory review ‘Mechanical Recycling for Dummies’. The text provides an accessible introduction to the technical aspects of mechanical recycling; it is aimed at (polymer) engineering students, needing a general introduction. Or at polymer scientists, wanting to explore the world of recycling and likewise, at recyclers wanting an insight into why polymers are so damn complex to recycle. None of these target groups are dummies. But all of them are out of their comfort zone with at least one section of this review. Recognize yourself in this profile? Then go ahead, read. Recycling (mechanical or otherwise) of polymers is a complex matter, which really does require a multidisciplinary understanding to do well. We have chosen to go broad rather than deep in terms of content. We have selected to just share instead of publishing in a journal, so that anyone can access the text. If you would like to this use educationally, share it within your company or network, feel free. But please, do remember to make the proper references to us as authors. Proper courtesy will keep us encouraged to provide you with more of these open papers."
This article will give you a comprehensive overview of the recycling of polymers with a strong focus on mechanical recycling. Starting with an overview of basic waste management hierarchy, the manuscript continues with the principles and scientific challenges associated with mechanical recycling. Furthermore, different industrial technologies are highlighted focusing on post-consumer polyester (PET) bottle-to-bottle recycling, solid plastic waste (SPW) from post-consumer packaging waste and SPW from waste from electrical and electronic (WEEE) equipment. In addition, various additives commonly found in or added to recycled polymers are discussed.