Chapter 2

Challenges in the Separation of Plastics from Packaging Waste

M.T. Carvalho

Abstract

Packaging waste are commonly used as new raw materials reducing the depletion of natural resources. The separation between the different materials is mandatory if the application in high value added products is desired. Today, one challenge for recycling is the separation of shredded polymers with approximate density. In this chapter the specific problems related with the separation of PS (Polystyrene) from PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) and PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) are addressed. </p><p> The most important international literature describing experimental studies are reviewed and a summation of the experimental work supervised by the author is presented. The application of gravity concentration and froth flotation is proposed. The results of the experimentation carried out with representative samples of post-consumer packaging plastics at laboratory scale and in a pilot plant continuously operated are presented. The study confirmed the process feasibility but highlighted some difficulties and limitations.

Total Pages: 30-42 (13)

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