Recycling of a post-industrial printed multilayer plastic film containing polyurethane inks by solvent-targeted recovery and precipitation

Kevin L. Sánchez-Rivera, Aurora del Carmen Munguía-López, Panzheng Zhou, Victor S. Cecon, Jiuling Yu, Kevin Nelson, Daniel Miller, Steve Grey, Zhuo Xu, Ezra Bar-Ziv, Keith L. Vorst, Greg W. Curtzwiler, Reid C. Van Lehn, Victor M. Zavala, George W. Huber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The recently reported Solvent-Targeted Recovery And Precipitation (STRAP) strategy is used to deconstruct multilayer plastic packaging films into their constituent resins by selective polymer dissolution. To broaden the applicability of STRAP, we demonstrate the process with a flexible post-industrial printed multilayer plastic film used for food packaging. The material was a reverse printed film composed of polyethylene (PE), ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and polyurethane (PU)-based inks. Removal of all colors was observed with biomass-derived gamma-valerolactone (GVL) and the recovered polymers possessed comparable properties to the corresponding virgin resins. A technoeconomic analysis indicates that this STRAP process could be economically feasible at a processing capacity of 6,000 tons per year. Moreover, the production of plastic films with materials recovered by this STRAP process can have a lower climate change impact than the production of films from virgin polymers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107086
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Volume197
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Dissolution
  • Economics
  • Environmental
  • Plastic
  • Polymer
  • Recycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics and Econometrics

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