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The feasibility of using the MFC concept to upcycle mixed recycled plastics

Maja Kuzmanović (UGent) , Laurens Delva (UGent) , Ludwig Cardon (UGent) and Kim Ragaert (UGent)
(2021) SUSTAINABILITY. 13(2).
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Abstract
Several mixed recycled plastics, namely, mixed bilayer polypropylene/poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PP/PET) film, mixed polyolefins (MPO) and talc-filled PP were selected for this study and used as matrices for the preparation of microfibrillar composites (MFCs) with PET as reinforcement fibres. MFCs with recycled matrices were successfully prepared by a three-step processing (extrusion-cold drawing-injection moulding), although significant difficulties in processing were observed. Contrary to previous results with virgin PP, no outstanding mechanical properties were achieved; they showed little or almost no improvement compared to the properties of unreinforced recycled plastics. SEM characterisation showed a high level of PET fibre coalescence present in the MFC made from recycled PP/PET film, while in the other MFCs, a large heterogeneity of the microstructure was identified. Despite these disappointing results, the MFC concept remains an interesting approach for the upcycling of mixed polymer waste. However, the current study shows that the approach requires further in-depth investigations which consider various factors such as viscosity, heterogeneity, the presence of different additives and levels of degradation.
Keywords
microfibrillar composites, upcycling, recycled plastics, morphology, crystallisation behaviour, mechanical properties

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MLA
Kuzmanović, Maja, et al. “The Feasibility of Using the MFC Concept to Upcycle Mixed Recycled Plastics.” SUSTAINABILITY, vol. 13, no. 2, 2021, doi:10.3390/su13020689.
APA
Kuzmanović, M., Delva, L., Cardon, L., & Ragaert, K. (2021). The feasibility of using the MFC concept to upcycle mixed recycled plastics. SUSTAINABILITY, 13(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020689
Chicago author-date
Kuzmanović, Maja, Laurens Delva, Ludwig Cardon, and Kim Ragaert. 2021. “The Feasibility of Using the MFC Concept to Upcycle Mixed Recycled Plastics.” SUSTAINABILITY 13 (2). https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020689.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Kuzmanović, Maja, Laurens Delva, Ludwig Cardon, and Kim Ragaert. 2021. “The Feasibility of Using the MFC Concept to Upcycle Mixed Recycled Plastics.” SUSTAINABILITY 13 (2). doi:10.3390/su13020689.
Vancouver
1.
Kuzmanović M, Delva L, Cardon L, Ragaert K. The feasibility of using the MFC concept to upcycle mixed recycled plastics. SUSTAINABILITY. 2021;13(2).
IEEE
[1]
M. Kuzmanović, L. Delva, L. Cardon, and K. Ragaert, “The feasibility of using the MFC concept to upcycle mixed recycled plastics,” SUSTAINABILITY, vol. 13, no. 2, 2021.
@article{8686846,
  abstract     = {{Several mixed recycled plastics, namely, mixed bilayer polypropylene/poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PP/PET) film, mixed polyolefins (MPO) and talc-filled PP were selected for this study and used as matrices for the preparation of microfibrillar composites (MFCs) with PET as reinforcement fibres. MFCs with recycled matrices were successfully prepared by a three-step processing (extrusion-cold drawing-injection moulding), although significant difficulties in processing were observed. Contrary to previous results with virgin PP, no outstanding mechanical properties were achieved; they showed little or almost no improvement compared to the properties of unreinforced recycled plastics. SEM characterisation showed a high level of PET fibre coalescence present in the MFC made from recycled PP/PET film, while in the other MFCs, a large heterogeneity of the microstructure was identified. Despite these disappointing results, the MFC concept remains an interesting approach for the upcycling of mixed polymer waste. However, the current study shows that the approach requires further in-depth investigations which consider various factors such as viscosity, heterogeneity, the presence of different additives and levels of degradation.}},
  articleno    = {{689}},
  author       = {{Kuzmanović, Maja and Delva, Laurens and Cardon, Ludwig and Ragaert, Kim}},
  issn         = {{2071-1050}},
  journal      = {{SUSTAINABILITY}},
  keywords     = {{microfibrillar composites,upcycling,recycled plastics,morphology,crystallisation behaviour,mechanical properties}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{2}},
  pages        = {{20}},
  title        = {{The feasibility of using the MFC concept to upcycle mixed recycled plastics}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/su13020689}},
  volume       = {{13}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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