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Selective sequential separation of ABS/HIPS and PVC from automobile and electronic waste shredder residue by hybrid nano-Fe/Ca/CaO assisted ozonisation process

Mallampati, Srinivasa Reddy, Lee, Byoung Ho, Mitoma, Yoshiharu, Simion, Cristian
Waste management 2017 v.60 pp. 428-438
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, automobiles, calcium oxide, contact angle, electronic wastes, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, flame retardants, hydrophilicity, ozonation, plastics, poly(vinyl chloride), polystyrenes, recycling, scanning electron microscopy, wettability
The separation of plastics containing brominated flame retardants (BFR) like (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), high-impact polystyrene (HIPS), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC)) from automobile and electronic waste shredder residue (ASR/ESR) are a major concern for thermal recycling. In laboratory scale tests using a hybrid nano-Fe/Ca/CaO assisted ozonation treatment has been found to selectively hydrophilize the surface of ABS/HIPS and PVC plastics, enhancing ABS wettability and thereby promoting its separation from ASR/ESR by means of froth flotation. The water contact angles, of ABS/HIPS and PVC decreased, about 18.7°, 18.3°, and 17.9° in ASR and about 21.2°, 20.7°, and 20.0° in ESR respectively. SEM-EDS, FT-IR, and XPS analyses demonstrated a marked decrease in [Cl] and a significant increase in the number of hydrophilic groups, such as CO, CO, and (CO)O, on the PVC or ABS surface. Under froth flotation conditions at 50rpm, about 99.1% of combined fraction of ABS/HIPS in ASR samples and 99.6% of ABS/HIPS in ESR samples were separated as settled fraction. After separation, the purity of the recovered combined ABS/HIPS fraction was 96.5% and 97.6% in ASR and ESR samples respectively. Furthermore, at 150rpm a 100% PVC separation in the settled fraction, with 98% and 99% purity in ASR and ESR plastics, respectively. Total recovery of non-ABS/HIPS and PVC plastics reached nearly 100% in the floating fraction. Further, this process improved the quality of recycled ASR/ESR plastics by removing surface contaminants or impurities.