577,868 research outputs found

    Analysis of products from the pyrolysis of plastics recovered from the commercial scale recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment

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    Three plastic fractions from a commercial waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) processing plant were collected and investigated for the possibility of recycling them by batch pyrolysis. The first plastic was from equipment containing cathode ray tubes (CRTs), the second plastic was from refrigeration equipment, and the third plastic was from mixed WEEE. Initially, the decomposition of each of the plastics was investigated using a TGA linked to a FT-ir spectrometer which showed that the CRT plastic decomposed to form aliphatic and aromatic compounds, the refrigerator plastic decomposed to form aldehydes, CO2, aromatic, and aliphatic compounds, and the mixed WEEE plastic decomposed to form aromatic and aliphatic compounds, CO2, and CO. Each plastic mixture was also pyrolysed in a batch reactor to determine the halogen and metal content of the pyrolysis products, additionally, characterisation of the pyrolysis oils was carried out by GC-MS and the pyrolysis gases by GC-FID and GC-TCD. It was found that the halogen content of the oils was relatively low but the halogen and metal content of the chars was high. The pyrolysis oils were found to contain valuable chemical products and the pyrolysis gases were mainly halogen free, making them suitable as a fuel

    Current use of peat, plastic and fertiliser inputs in organic horticultural and arable crops across Europe

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    The use of contentious inputs linked to plant protection, and the use of peat, plastic and fertilisers used in growing have been mapped in selected organically produced crops in 10 countries across Europe. This report refers the output of this mapping. It shows that organic production has not come very far to phase out peat or plastic. The consumption of these materials seems to be quite comparable to non-organic production systems.The main utilisation of peat is for production of young plants (transplants). Most organic growers purchase plants e.g. for citrus, olives and grafted tomatoes and the growing media has usually a high content of peat. Vegetable transplants are also commonly produced by special growers. Peat is also used for casing layers for organic mushrooms, and as a potting media for aromatic plants. For plastic, the use is extensive for mulching and to protect crops against frost, less often for insect protection. The use of plastic materials to attach young plants to sticks etc., and to protect grafting wounds in young trees, was also observed. While not big in volume, this use may contribute to micro-plastic waste. Plastic is also very common for solarisation and for tunnels and greenhouses, especially in southern countries. In northern countries,greenhouses are usually made of other materials than plastic. Further research within the Organic PLUS project will reveal farmers and growers who have worked with promising alternatives and develop these further. For applied fertilisers, which in our context need to be approved for use in certified organic production, the application of commercial products seems to be higher in some countries, e.g. Greece, whereas other countries seem to use much less. This may be explained by economic conditions of the growers, cultural differences, by the extent of organic production and development of a market for such products, by the availability of national fertiliser Companies and by other factors. Information about raw materials used to produce these fertilisers is commonly not readily available but may sometimes be found under information about the company’s history. These website sections also reveal that fusions of fertiliser Companies occur rapidly. Many fertiliser products seem to be derived from residuals from sugar or starch production. Horn grid, meat and bone meal, blood meal and feather meals are well known organic fertilisers but were not so much observed in this study. Instead, we observed that animal hides are an important raw material for organic N fertilisers. Seaweed products are quite common, whereas fish-based products were only mentioned from UK. Non-organic manure (from conventional farms) is used in all countries, commonly as pelletised dry poultry manure

    Detecting microplastics pollution in world oceans using SAR remote sensing

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    Plastic pollution in the world’s oceans is estimated to have reached 270.000 tones, or 5.25 trillion pieces. This plastic is now ubiquitous, however due to ocean circulation patterns, it accumulates in the ocean gyres, creating “garbage patches”. This plastic debris is colonized by microorganisms which create unique bio-film ecosystems. Microbial colonization is the first step towards disintegration and degradation of plastic materials: a process that releases metabolic by-products from energy synthesis. These by-products include the release of short-chain and more complex carbon molecules in the form of surfactants, which we hypothesize will affect the fluid dynamic properties of waves (change in viscosity and surface tension) and make them detectable by SAR sensor. In this study we used Sentinel-1A and COSMO-SkyMed SAR images in selected sites of both the North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans, close to ocean gyres and away from coastal interference. Together with SAR processing we conducted contextual analysis, using ocean geophysical products of the sea surface temperature, surface wind, chlorophyll, wave heights and wave spectrum of the ocean surface. In addition, we started experiments under controlled conditions to test the behaviour of microbes colonizing the two most common pollutants, polyethylene (PE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) microplastics. The analysis of SAR images has shown that a combination of surface wind speed and Langmuir cells- ocean circulation pattern is the main controlling factor in creating the distinct appearance of the sea-slicks and microbial bio-films. The preliminary conclusion of our study is that SAR remote sensing may be able to detect plastic pollution in the open oceans and this method can be extended to other areas

    LCA-based indicators for recycling: a case study on plastic waste treatment in Flanders

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    The last decades, waste management strategies are shifting from waste disposal to recycling, considering waste as resources. To quantitatively monitor the progress in this transition, a wide range of indicators has been developed. One of these indicators developed by the European Commission is the recyclability benefit rate (RBR), defined as the ratio of the environmental benefits that can be achieved from recycling over the environmental losses related to virgin production and disposal. These environmental benefits and losses are expressed in terms of environmental impacts obtained through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). To assess the usefulness of this indicator, we applied it on two cases of plastic waste treatment in Flanders, Belgium: closed-loop recycling (case A) and open-loop recycling (case B). The environmental impact of resource consumption is quantified as the Cumulative Exergy Extraction of the Natural Environment (CEENE). Case A considers plastic waste from electronic appliances. The recycled plastic is of good quality and can be used in products similar to the original product. The average RBR of case A is 58%. Case B considers plastic household waste. The recycled plastic is of lower quality, making it only useable for other products, e.g. street benches, in which it substitutes other materials, e.g. wood. Here, the indicator had to be further adapted for open-loop recycling. The outcome is an average RBR of 13%. This value is rather low because more mass of the recycled plastic is needed to meet the same quality requirements as the substituted material. By further developing the indicator for open-loop recycling, it was possible to quantify the environmental sustainability of plastic recycling in Flanders. These quantitative results may be useful for policy makers, e.g. in legislation on subsidies and levies

    Poly Pelletizer: Recycled Pet Pellets From Water Bottles

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    Plastic water bottles comprise a large amount of waste worldwide. The goal of the Poly Pelletizer project is to create a system that will turn water bottles into polyethylene terephthalate (PET) pellets compatible with extruders to produce 3-D printer lament, along with other recycling applications.The system promotes a sustainable solution to plastic pollution by giving manufactures, particularly in developing nations, the means to produce their own bulk materials using waste plastic. Shrinking industrial recycling processes to a workbench scale gives individuals the ability to convert excess bottles into seemingly limitless products. The system works by using a dual heating and pressure system to both evenly mix and melt the plastic before pushing the resin through a die. The Poly Pelletizer successfully created pellets using various mixtures of virgin PET and shredded water bottles

    New polyimide polymer has excellent processing characterisitcs with improved thermo-oxidative and hydrolytic stabilities

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    Polyimide P10P and its processing technique apply to most high temperature plastic products, devices and castings. Prepolymer, when used as varnish, impregnates fibers directly and is able to be processed into advanced composities. Material may also be used as molding powder and adhesive

    New estimates of labour productivity in the manufacturing sectors of Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland

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    In this paper we provide benchmark comparisons of manufacturing unit value ratios and productivity levels for the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland relative to Germany in 1996. On average, manufacturing prices were about half of those in Germany for all three countries. Hungary was characterised by relatively low price levels in Food Processing, but relatively high price levels in Chemicals, Rubber and Plastic Products, Non-Metallic Mineral Products and Electrical Equipment. Poland appeared weak on price competitiveness in Wood and Wood Products and Printing and Publishing. The Czech Republic has relatively low price levels in Chemicals. For Total Manufacturing, Hungary shows a clear productivity advantage despite a comparable relative price level (compare Figure 1). The Hungarian productivity advantage is in strong Food Products, Paper and Printing, and Wood Products (even though in the latter case it is benefitting from low relative price levels), but also in Machinery and Transport Equipment and in Other Manufacturing. The Polish productivity level is high in Rubber and Plastic Products, and in the Czech Republic it is high in Chemicals, which in both cases is reflected by relatively low price levels. Czech productivity is also relatively high in Non-Metallic Minerals.

    Fire debris analysis by Raman spectroscopy and chemometrics

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    A paper reporting the use of Raman Spectroscopy in fire debris analysis is presented. Five polymer based samples, namely carpet (polypropylene), nylon stockings (nylon), foam packaging (polystyrene), CD cases (polystyrene) and DVD cases (polypropylene) were burnt with each one of the following ignitable liquids: petrol, diesel, kerosene and ethanol. Raman shifts were obtained and, in some cases, peaks were identified to correspond to pyrolysis products in the form of alkanes, aromatic or polyaromatic compounds. All pyrolysis peaks were used to produce a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of the burned samples with the different ignitable liquids. The change in the Raman spectra made it possible to identify some of the pyrolysis products produced in the combustion and also to identify the different plastic materials in fire debris, even when different fuels have been used and the chemical and structural identity of the plastic has been altered in the fire
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