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Plastics Recycling

markerplasticsrecycling nanoparticlesSpectroscopyZero Waste

Introduction

In today’s world, plastic recycling has become an important issue. On the one hand plastics is an “umbrella” material that modern society can’t do without, at the same time it threatens the planet’s ecosystem.  Therefore, with circular economy paradigm in mind, the present invention aims to provide a solution for the automated plastic separation system that could maximize the efficiency of the process.

Plastics Recycling

Technical features

Many polymeric materials are not recycled nowadays, because a convenient and efficient automated separation system has not yet been developed. One of the biggest challenges in the field of plastics recycling is the differentiation of multi-waste materials into mono-materials with a high degree of purity. The conventional systems, such as those based on infrared light emission and near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIR), present limitations in the recognition and differentiation of complex mixtures or polymers with different compositions. The invention consists of a method for separating different plastics materials, intended for recycling, by inserting luminescent markers therein. The plastic materials, in which the markers have been inserted, can be univocally recognized by an optical detector

Possible Applications

  • Recognition of plastic materials;
  • Recycling of plastic that current systems do not recognize or separate;
  • Separation of black plastic, currently not recycled;
  • Counterfeiting.

Advantages

  • High availability   of silicon in the earth’s crust;
  • Silicon being light- and heat resistant, low toxic material;
  • Excellent optical properties of silicon nanostructures;
  • Simplicity of the process.