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e-Live ® Presentation December 18, 2009 . Plastics Recycling: Processes, Opportunities and Issues. Dr. Adrian Merrington Senior Associate Scientist and Assistant Professor Michigan Molecular Institute Midland, MI 48640-2696 (989) 832-5555 ext. 638 merrington@mmi.org www.mmi.org.

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slide1

e-Live® Presentation

December 18, 2009

Plastics Recycling:

Processes, Opportunities and Issues

Dr. Adrian Merrington

Senior Associate Scientist and Assistant Professor

Michigan Molecular Institute

Midland, MI 48640-2696

(989) 832-5555 ext. 638

merrington@mmi.org

www.mmi.org

welcome
Welcome
  • SPE e-Live® on-line audience
  • SPE mid-Michigan Section
  • MMI monthly technical meeting attendees
background mmi
Background - MMI
  • MMI is an independent, not-for-profit research and educational organization, conducting both basic and applied research in polymer science and technology.
  • Collaborators in Plastics Recycling
    • American Commodities
    • Chrysler
    • Dow
    • DuPont
    • Eastman Chemical
    • Midland Compounding and Consulting
    • Recycling Projects International
    • Resource Recovery Corporation
    • Strategic Materials
    • University of Florida
    • Vehicle Recycling Partnership
    • Visteon
recycle icons
“Recycle” Icons

Source: http://www.resourcefulschools.org, 2008

not recycle icons
Not “Recycle” Icons
  • “The only information in the symbol is the number inside the arrows, which indicates the general class of resin used to make the container.”
  • “The arrows are meaningless”.
  • The attorneys general of 11 states objected to “false and misleading claims about plastic recyclability.”
  • “The recent settlement that they reached with the American Plastics Council paves the way for a first-ever definition of what claims can or cannot be made about plastic recycling and recyclability.”

Source: http://www.ecologycenter.org, 2008

real recycle icons7
Real Recycle Icons

Recyclable (USA)

Green DOT (Germany)

Recycle Now (UK)

Recyclable (EU)

Contains Recycled

Materials (USA)

Compostable (UK)

plastics production and recovery

35

30

25

20

15

10

5

0

Production

Million Tons

Recovery

1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 20002005 2010

Plastics Production and Recovery

Source: Municipal Solid Waste in the United States, 2007 Facts and Figures,

US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Solid Waste

state recycling rates
State Recycling Rates

Source: BioCycle, 2004

recycling rate calculation
Recycling Rate Calculation
  • US EPA
    • Presenting a recycling measurement tool that does all of the following:
      • Ensures fair comparisons of recycling rates among states and local governments.
      • Produces useful information for planning and decision-making.
      • Provides accurate, up-to-date numbers for market development.
      • Allows for easy data collection from the private sector.
      • Saves you time and effort.
    • 164 Page Document
  • Australia
    • Australia Debates True Plastics Recycling Rates

Source: http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/tools/recmeas/index.htm

Source: Plastics News, November 17, 2008

quotes from gpec 2007
Quotes from GPEC 2007
  • SPE’s annual “Global Plastic’s Environmental Conference”
    • Recycling, Bio-based and Biodegradable
    • Dr. Seetha Coleman-Kammula , NextLife, LLC
  • For every 100 lbs of product manufactured, we create about 3,200 lbs of waste.
  • 6% of the materials we extract from the earth are turned into durable products. The other 94% is waste within 6 months.
  • 87% of the plastics produced are landfilled within 8 weeks.
why not recycle plastics
Why Not Recycle Plastics?
  • The properties of recycled glass, steel or aluminum are essentially equivalent to those of virgin but this is not true with plastics
    • Properties are diminished by:
      • Heat histories
      • Chain scission
      • Action of additives
      • Mixed plastics - incompatible blends
  • Economics
    • Virgin plastics production is still relatively cheap
    • Collection, cleaning, separation, melt processing, etc. to recycle plastics is costly
slide13

What is a Plastic?

PLASTIC (ASTM D883-54T)

A material that contains as an essential ingredient an organic substance of large molecular weight, is solid in its finished state and, at some stage in its manufacture or in its processing into finished articles, can be shaped by flow.

additives or compounding constituents
Additives or Compounding Constituents
  • Common additives
      • Antiblocking agent
      • Antifogging agent
      • Antioxidant
      • Antistatic agent
      • Blowing agent
      • Colorant
      • Coupling agent
      • Cross-linking agent
      • Curing agent
      • Filler
      • Flame retardant
      • Heat stabilizer
      • Hydrolytic stabilizer
      • Impact modifier
      • Lubricant
      • Pigment
      • Plasticizer
      • Preservative
      • Release agent
      • Thermal stabilizer
      • UV stabilizer
      • Viscosity depressant
      • etc., etc., etc.
additives or compounding constituents15

Cotton

Wood flour

Wood pulp

Shell flour

Keratin

Rayon

Nylon

Coal

Asbestos

Mica

Quartz

Glass

Clay

Calcium silicate

Calcium carbonate

Alumina trihydrate

Aluminum powder

Aramid

Bronze powder

Talc

Carbon black

Carbon fiber

Additives or Compounding Constituents
  • Common additives
      • Antiblocking agent
      • Antifogging agent
      • Antioxidant
      • Antistatic agent
      • Blowing agent
      • Colorant
      • Coupling agent
      • Cross-linking agent
      • Curing agent
      • Filler
      • Flame retardant
      • Heat stabilizer
      • Hydrolytic stabilizer
      • Impact modifier
      • Lubricant
      • Pigment
      • Plasticizer
      • Preservative
      • Release agent
      • Thermal stabilizer
      • UV stabilizer
      • Viscosity depressant
      • etc., etc., etc.
additives or compounding constituents16

Cotton

Wood flour

Wood pulp

Shell flour

Keratin

Rayon

Nylon

Coal

Asbestos

Mica

Quartz

Glass

Clay

Calcium silicate

Calcium carbonate

Alumina trihydrate

Aluminum powder

Aramid

Bronze powder

Talc

Carbon black

Carbon fiber

Flakes

Fibers

Spheres

Additives or Compounding Constituents
  • Common additives
      • Antiblocking agent
      • Antifogging agent
      • Antioxidant
      • Antistatic agent
      • Blowing agent
      • Colorant
      • Coupling agent
      • Cross-linking agent
      • Curing agent
      • Filler
      • Flame retardant
      • Heat stabilizer
      • Hydrolytic stabilizer
      • Impact modifier
      • Lubricant
      • Pigment
      • Plasticizer
      • Preservative
      • Release agent
      • Thermal stabilizer
      • UV stabilizer
      • Viscosity depressant
      • etc., etc., etc.
additives or compounding constituents17

Cotton

Wood flour

Wood pulp

Shell flour

Keratin

Rayon

Nylon

Coal

Asbestos

Mica

Quartz

Glass

Clay

Calcium silicate

Calcium carbonate

Alumina trihydrate

Aluminum powder

Aramid

Bronze powder

Talc

Carbon black

Carbon fiber

Flakes

Fibers

Spheres

Size

Aspect ratio

Etc.

Additives or Compounding Constituents
  • Common additives
      • Antiblocking agent
      • Antifogging agent
      • Antioxidant
      • Antistatic agent
      • Blowing agent
      • Colorant
      • Coupling agent
      • Cross-linking agent
      • Curing agent
      • Filler
      • Flame retardant
      • Heat stabilizer
      • Hydrolytic stabilizer
      • Impact modifier
      • Lubricant
      • Pigment
      • Plasticizer
      • Preservative
      • Release agent
      • Thermal stabilizer
      • UV stabilizer
      • Viscosity depressant
      • etc., etc., etc.
additives or compounding constituents18

Cotton

Wood flour

Wood pulp

Shell flour

Keratin

Rayon

Nylon

Coal

Asbestos

Mica

Quartz

Glass

Clay

Calcium silicate

Calcium carbonate

Alumina trihydrate

Aluminum powder

Aramid

Bronze powder

Talc

Carbon black

Carbon fiber

Flakes

Fibers

Spheres

Size

Aspect ratio

Etc.

Surface Treatments

Etc.

Additives or Compounding Constituents
  • Common additives
      • Antiblocking agent
      • Antifogging agent
      • Antioxidant
      • Antistatic agent
      • Blowing agent
      • Colorant
      • Coupling agent
      • Cross-linking agent
      • Curing agent
      • Filler
      • Flame retardant
      • Heat stabilizer
      • Hydrolytic stabilizer
      • Impact modifier
      • Lubricant
      • Pigment
      • Plasticizer
      • Preservative
      • Release agent
      • Thermal stabilizer
      • UV stabilizer
      • Viscosity depressant
      • etc., etc., etc.
pop bottles versus ketchup bottles
Pop Bottles Versus Ketchup Bottles
  • Multilayer
  • Typically 5 layers of alternating PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) and EVOH (ethylene-vinyl alcohol)
  • Monolayer
  • PET
what plastic am i trying to recycle
What “Plastic” am I Trying to Recycle?
  • Single or multi-layered
      • PET or PET/EVOH
  • May be different from producer to producer
  • Production method
      • Mass ABS
      • Emulsion ABS
      • Compounded ABS
  • Additives
      • Filler
      • Paint
      • UV stabilizers
      • How do I handle these?
      • Do I need to remove them?
generation of plastic waste
Generation of Plastic Waste
  • Post-Industrial
      • Resin manufacturer
      • Fabricator
      • Compounder or reprocessor
      • Packager, assembler, distributor
  • Post-Consumer
      • Packaging
      • Housewares
      • Toys
      • Construction
      • Appliances
      • Novelties, disposables
      • Footware
      • Transportation
      • Furniture
      • Wire and cable
production vs recycle usa
Production vs. Recycle USA

Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov (2007)

how to handle plastic waste
How to Handle Plastic Waste
  • Ban the use of plastics
      • “Greenpeace”
      • Science261 (1993) 152
  • Bury them in landfills
      • USA vs Japan
      • Canada to Michigan
  • Burn them in municipal incinerators
      • USA vs Japan
  • Pyrolyze them to industrial chemicals or fuels
  • Recycle them to useful products
plastics recycling
Plastics Recycling
  • Primary Recycling
      • Replace virgin resins
        • Same or similar types of product at a reduced price
        • Pop bottles
  • Secondary Recycling
      • Use in applications not typical of virgin resins
        • Less demanding properties, lower cost
        • Plastic wood
        • Filler
  • Tertiary Recycling
      • Recovery of chemicals
  • Quaternary Recycling
      • Recovery of energy
concerns for the plastics recycler
Concerns for the Plastics Recycler
  • Politics and legislation
  • Public relations
  • Cost
  • Economics
  • Technology
  • Product
politics
Politics
  • Legislation
    • State, federal and international law
    • California and Germany
    • Producer responsibility, take-back laws
  • Special interest groups
    • American Chemical Council: Plastics Division
      • http://www.americanchemistry.com/Plastics/
    • Greenpeace
      • http://www.greenpeace.org/
    • Campaign Against The Plastic Plague
      • http://www.earthresource.org/campaigns/capp/capp-goals.html
  • Is buying a used car recycling?
public relations
Public Relations
  • Coke vs. Pepsi
    • First to use recycled bottles
    • Not use of recycled plastics in 2003
    • Coke Recycling plant opened in 2008
    • Sponsoring recycle collection bins around the country 2008
  • IBM, Hewlett Packard
    • Recycler of the year
  • Mercedes (1997)
    • First totally recyclable car
    • What does this mean?
    • Would you choose your $40K car based on its recyclability?
slide28
Cost
  • Purchase
  • Collection
  • Storage, warehousing
  • Consolidation
  • Transportation
  • Sorting
  • Separation
  • Washing
  • Drying
  • Compounding
  • Melting
  • Pelletizing
economics which resins to pursue

Diamonds

Gold

Catalytic Metals

Copper

Aluminum

PC

Dollars per unit

Engineering Plastics

Recovery Cost

Steel

PET

Glass

HDPE

Market Value

Paper

PS

PVC

PP

Retained Performance Value

Economics: Which Resins to Pursue?

D. Nutter, G.E. Plastics, Pittsfield MA reproduced in J. Schiers, Polymer Recycling, Wiley, Victoria, Australia, 1998

economics

1.25

1.00

0.75

0.5

Virgin

40¢

Price per pound / $

25¢

Recycle

March April May June

Date / Months

Economics
  • Cost to recycle 15-40 cents / lb
  • Would you pay more for a product using recycle?

Source: What goes up … now coming down hard, Plastics News, November 24, 2008

technology
Technology
  • Is the technology really available?
  • Is it economic to use with a given resin?
    • Solvolysis
    • Pyrolysis
    • Stabilization
    • Compatibilization
    • Blending
    • Hydrogenation
    • Melt reprocessing
    • Chemical modification
    • Thermoset recycling

Source: sankojapan.co.jp, 2008

recycling industry sectors
Recycling Industry Sectors
  • Bottle
  • Automotive
  • Electronics
  • Packaging
  • White Goods
  • Construction
bottle recycling by type
Bottle Recycling by Type

Source: R.W. Beck, Inc., 2004

bottle recycling rates

100%

50%

0%

1995 2000 2005 2010

Bottle Recycling Rates
  • Milk Bottles HDPE
  • Pop Bottles PET

100%

50%

0%

1995 2000 2005 2010

Source: Container Recycling Institute, 2006

PET recycling rate improves The PET bottle recycling rate rose for the fourth straight year to 24.6 (2007)

Source: Plastics News, December 4, 2008

pop bottle recycling in rates by state
Pop Bottle Recycling in Rates By State

100%

50%

0%

Michigan California

New York USA

1985 1990 1995 2000 2005

Source: bottlebill.org, 2008

bottle bill states
Bottle Bill States
  • www.bottlebill.org
    • 10¢ states
      • Michigan
    • 5¢ states
      • California (10¢ over 24 oz)
      • Connecticut
      • Delaware
      • Hawaii
      • Iowa
      • Maine (15¢ wine and liquor)
      • Massachusetts
      • New York
      • Oregon (2¢ refillable)
      • Vermont (15¢ liquor)
  • Artificially subsidizes bottle recycling in bottle bill states

Source: bottlebill.org, 2008

pet problems chain scission
PET – Problems (Chain Scission)

Source: J. Leider, 1981

hdpe problems

Contaminant Effect on Recycled HDPE

PP Unfused lumps, weld-lines, weakness, delamination

PET Unfused lumps, plugs melt delivery channels

Metal fragments Plugs injection nozzle, catalyzes polymer oxidation

Paper fibers “Blow outs” in blow-molded bottles

Soil, dirt Gels, inclusions and stress concentrations

Pigments Undesirable color variations

Milk Rancid odor due to butyric acid lipolysis products

Plasticization of polymer lowering its impact strength

Motor oil Residual odor problems

Hydroperoxides Initiation of thermal and photo-oxidative reactions

HDPE - Problems
pet bottle recycling
PET Bottle Recycling

20

15

10

5

0

Beverage Bottles Per Unit

Source: Container Recycling

Institute, 2006

Not Recycled

Containers per person per year

Recycled

1990 1995 2000 2005

By Weight in 2004

Source: American Plastics

Council, 2004

automotive recycling
Automotive Recycling
  • Automotive recycling is a mature industry
    • But not because of plastics recycling
    • Steel, glass, etc.
  • Recycle-content mandates
  • Cherry pick
  • Shred
    • Separate
    • Use mixed
recycling a selectively chosen plastic
Recycling a Selectively ChosenPlastic
  • Look for big parts
  • Easily identifiable
  • Easily recovered
  • Example: Car bumpers
from what material is a car bumper made

Year

Cost

From What Material is a Car Bumper Made?
  • Steel
  • Polyurethane
  • Xenoy (PC/PBT)
  • TPO
tpo really
TPO? Really?
  • Post-Industrial
      • Paint
        • How do you remove it?
        • How many layers of paint?
        • Do I have to remove it?
      • Additives
      • Filler
      • Manufacturing process
  • Post-Consumer
      • And…
      • Mixed resins
        • Different TPOs, etc.
      • Aftermarket
        • PP replacements, etc.
      • Bondo
      • Bumper stickers
      • Dead animal parts
      • etc., etc.
recycling a part minivan door

ABS 71.5%

PP 26.5%

PE 0.5%

PET 0.2%

PVC 0.2%

PUR 0.1%

Unknown 1.0%

Density Separation

r<1

PP(A) 21.2%

PE 0.6%

Unknown 0.4%

Subtotal 22.2%

PP/PE/Unknown

(96/3/1)

1<r<1.2

ABS 71.4%

PP(B) 5.3%

Unknown 0.3%

Subtotal 77.0%

ABS/PP/Unknown

(96/3/1)

r>1.2

PET 0.2%

PVC 0.2%

PUR 0.1%

Unknown 0.3%

Subtotal 0.8%

Can be

compatibilized

with SIS

Can be

compatibilized

with SIS

Landfill

Recycling a Part – Minivan Door

Source: Vehicle Recycling

Partnership, 2002

automotive shredder residue
Automotive Shredder Residue
  • Shred the car
  • Remove steel by magnets
  • ASR is the rest
    • Thermoplastics
    • Thermosets
    • Fluids
    • Heavy metals
  • What do you do with ASR?
    • Separate?
    • Use in asphalt, cement?
    • Landfill?
alternative green options to traditional recycling
Alternative “Green” Options to Traditional Recycling
  • Designing for recycling
  • Part re-use
  • Material re-use, sustainability
  • Material reduction
  • Biodegradable polymers
designing for recycle
Designing for Recycle
  • Use compatible plastics or similar plastics
  • For example
      • Original car door
        • ABS panel
        • PU foam in arm-rest
        • Rigid PU window handle
        • PVC coverings
        • Nylon cogs and gears
      • New car door
        • PP panel
        • PP arm-rest
        • Filled PP window handle or electronic window control with PP buttons
        • Nylon cogs and gears
part re use
Part Re-use
  • Automotive
    • Scrap yard
    • Rebuilt starter
    • Tire retreads
    • Antique cars, motorcycles, etc.
  • Other Appliances
    • Washing machines and dryers
    • Computer used parts
    • E-bay
  • Packaging
material reduction
Material Reduction
  • Use less packaging in total
  • Use fewer different types of packaging material
biodegradable polymers
Biodegradable Polymers
  • Material degrades with
    • UV exposure
    • Heat
    • Moisture
    • Time
  • Renewable
  • Sustainable

Source: Natureworks PLC, 2006

recent topics
Recent Topics
  • E-scrap (2003-2006 )

Source: http://www.e-scrapnews.com/

  • E-waste Responsibility Laws Taking Country State by State

Source: Plastics News, October 20, 2008

  • Rising Costs of Plastics ( )

Source: http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/Extra/RisingCostsPinchRubbermaidPlastics.aspx

  • Energy Recovery (2004-2008½?)

Source: http://www.americanchemistry.com/s_plastics/doc.asp?CID=1588&DID=6032

state of the recycling industry
State of the Recycling Industry
  • Recycling Rallies, Green Optimism Grows

Source: Plastics News, October 20, 2008

  • World-wide Recycled-Plastic Trade Plummets

Source: Plastics News, November 17, 2008

conclusions
Conclusions
  • Some plastics can be recycled
  • Some plastics can be recycled economically
  • Some plastics can be recycled environmentally
  • But not all
and finally
And Finally….
  • Thanks for listening.
  • Thanks to SPE for giving me the opportunity to present here.
  • plasticsresource.com
  • allplasticbottles.org
  • plastics-car.com
  • Any questions?