Recycling and Resource Recovery of Polymeric Materials

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Circular and Green Polymer Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2023) | Viewed by 4907

Special Issue Editors

School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Wuhan Institute of Technology, Wuhan, China
Interests: plastics reprocessing; waste rubber; polymer modified asphalt; rubberized asphalt; performance evaluation; microstructural characterization; mechanism analysis

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Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK
Interests: sustainable infrastructural materials and technologies; advanced material characterization; asphalt binder chemistry and chemomechanical analysis; smart and resilient pavement infrastructure; high performance materials for pavements
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Guest Editor
School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Wuhan Institute of Technology, Wuhan, China
Interests: polymer fibre concrete; polymer fiber modified recycled concrete; high performance concrete; durability; microstructural characterization

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Guest Editor
School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Wuhan Institute of Technology, Wuhan, China
Interests: recycled polymeric materials; fibre reinforced polymer composites; geopolymer concrete; reinforced rubber concrete; molecular dynamics simulations for polymers

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The recycling and use of polymeric materials in various areas, such as plastics, rubbers, asphalt, concrete, etc., contribute to realizing the goal of resource sustainability within society to add benefits and value to environment and engineering. Most of the current plastics, rubbers, and polymeric fibres struggle to become degraded in nature during a short-term period. Therefore, the recycling and resource recovery of these polymeric materials has been the focusing issues that need be well addressed in different manners. The recycling techniques of polymeric materials ought to be developed in terms of circular economics and ecological environments.

Dr. Xiong Xu
Dr. Anand Sreeram
Dr. Shukai Cheng
Dr. Chen Zhao
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • polymeric materials recycling
  • plastics and rubbers reutilization
  • modification technologies for waste polymers to asphalt
  • reuse of recycled polymers in concrete
  • sustainability of polymeric materials
  • performance improvement for waste polymers

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

33 pages, 4961 KiB  
Article
Infrastructure in the Age of Pandemics: Utilizing Polypropylene-Based Mask Waste for Durable and Sustainable Road Pavements
by Nader Nciri and Namho Kim
Polymers 2023, 15(24), 4624; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15244624 - 05 Dec 2023
Viewed by 907
Abstract
When navigating the environmental exigencies precipitated by global pandemics, the escalation of mask waste presents a multifaceted dilemma. In this avant-garde research, we unveil a novel approach: harnessing the sterilized shredded mask residues (SMRs), predominantly composed of 100 wt. % polypropylene, as pioneering [...] Read more.
When navigating the environmental exigencies precipitated by global pandemics, the escalation of mask waste presents a multifaceted dilemma. In this avant-garde research, we unveil a novel approach: harnessing the sterilized shredded mask residues (SMRs), predominantly composed of 100 wt. % polypropylene, as pioneering modifiers for asphalt. Distinct proportions of SMR (e.g., 3, 6, and 9 wt. %) were judiciously integrated with fresh–virgin base AP-5 asphalt and subjected to an extensive suite of state-of-the-art examinations, encompassing thin-layer chromatography-flame ionization detection (TLC-FID), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and specific rheological metrics. The TLC-FID diagnostic trajectories highlighted the nuanced rejuvenating influence of SMR on the binder, a facet reinforced by a pronounced elevation in the thermodynamic stability index (IC). The FT-IR spectra elucidated SMR’s preeminent role as a filler, negating notions of chemical reactivity. The TGA analyses unveiled an elevated thermal onset of degradation, signposting enhanced thermal resilience, whereas the DSC readings illuminated a superior thermal comportment at lower extremities. The SEM evaluations rendered a clearer panorama: there was heightened textural perturbation at escalated SMR incorporations, yet the 3 wt. % concoction showcased an optimal, coherent microtexture symbiosis with asphalt. The rheological scrutinies revealed a systematic trajectory: a diminishing penetration and ductility countered by ascending softening points and viscosity metrics. The coup de maître stemmed from the DSR analyses, unequivocally validating SMR’s unparalleled prowess in curtailing rutting distress. This seminal inquiry not only posits a blueprint for refined pavement longevity but also champions a sustainable countermeasure to pandemic-propelled waste, epitomizing the confluence of environmental prudence an d infrastructural fortitude. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycling and Resource Recovery of Polymeric Materials)
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18 pages, 6273 KiB  
Article
Innovative Use of Waste PET-Derived Additive to Enhance Application Potentials of Recycled Concrete Aggregates in Asphalt Rubber
by Guofu Chen, Yuhao Peng, Nannan Yang, Guohao Xu, Kai Gong and Xiong Xu
Polymers 2023, 15(19), 3893; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15193893 - 26 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 873
Abstract
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) drinking bottles, rubber tires, and concrete are the very common municipal solid wastes, which are usually disposed of at landfills and stockpiles and cause continuous damage to the environment. Some studies have indicated that waste PET can be chemically converted [...] Read more.
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) drinking bottles, rubber tires, and concrete are the very common municipal solid wastes, which are usually disposed of at landfills and stockpiles and cause continuous damage to the environment. Some studies have indicated that waste PET can be chemically converted into an additive for improving the overall properties of asphalt pavement incorporating natural aggregates, especially the moisture-induced damage resistance. However, it is not clear whether this PET additive still works for asphalt rubber containing recycled concrete aggregates (RCA). To well reveal this issue, this study first adopted a similar way to chemically recycle waste PET into the additive for modifying crumb rubber modified asphalt (CRMA) binder and then mixed the binder with the 13 mm maximum aggregate stone matrix asphalt containing 100% coarse RCA for preparing the mixtures. After a series of physicochemical characterizations of the PET additive, the moisture resistance, rutting resistance, low-temperature cracking resistance, and fatigue resistance of the mixture were systematically evaluated. The results showed that the PET additive is capable of improving the resistance to moisture and high-temperature deformation of asphalt rubber and helps greatly reduce the moisture-induced damage to the interfacial bonding layer. To be more detailed, the residual Marshall stability (RMS) value of RCA-CRMAM/1PET after 72 h of immersion is higher than 85% by contrast to that of RCA-CRMAM (77.1%), while the tensile strength ratio (TSR) value of RCA-CRMAM/1PET shows more than 80% compared to that of 65.2%. In addition, only 1% PET additive can enhance the high-temperature resistance of asphalt rubber containing RCA to rut and allow it to maintain higher resistance to rut after moisture-induced damage. 1% PET additive can help improve the bearing capacity of RCA-CRMAM under a low-temperature environment and delay its fatigue life at small stresses. Generally, with the successful introduction of PET additives to asphalt rubber containing RCA, more durable and sustainable highway pavement can be produced and applied in practice to alleviate the negative impacts caused by waste PET, waste tire rubber, and waste concrete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycling and Resource Recovery of Polymeric Materials)
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16 pages, 4420 KiB  
Article
Combined Use of Polyurethane Prepolymer and Aromatic Oil in Physicochemical Rejuvenation of Aged SBS Modified Bitumen for Performance Recovery
by Suxun Shu, Guofu Chen, Jiaming Yan, Ziqing Li, Weili Shen, Kai Gong and Yi Luo
Polymers 2023, 15(5), 1120; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15051120 - 23 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1262
Abstract
The high-quality reutilization of waste styrene–butadiene–styrene copolymer (SBS) modified asphalt mixtures is a difficult issue in the field of highways today, and the main reason is that conventional rejuvenation technology fails to achieve the effective rejuvenation of aged SBS in binder, causing significant [...] Read more.
The high-quality reutilization of waste styrene–butadiene–styrene copolymer (SBS) modified asphalt mixtures is a difficult issue in the field of highways today, and the main reason is that conventional rejuvenation technology fails to achieve the effective rejuvenation of aged SBS in binder, causing significant deterioration in the high-temperature performance of the rejuvenated mixture. In view of this, this study proposed a physicochemical rejuvenation process using a reactive single-component polyurethane (PU) prepolymer as the repairing substance for structural reconstruction and aromatic oil (AO) as a common rejuvenator used to supplement the lost light fractions of asphalt molecules in aged SBSmB, according to the characteristics of oxidative degradation products of SBS. The joint rejuvenation of aged SBS modified bitumen (aSBSmB) by PU and AO was investigated based on Fourier transform infrared Spectroscopy, Brookfield rotational viscosity, linear amplitude sweep, and dynamic shear rheometer tests. The results show that 3 wt% PU can completely react with the oxidation degradation products of SBS and rebuild its structure, while AO mainly acted as an inert component to increase the content of aromatic components, thereby reasonably adjusting the compatibility of chemical components of aSBSmB. Compared with the PU reaction-rejuvenated binder, the 3 wt% PU/10 wt% AO rejuvenated binder had a lower high-temperature viscosity for better workability. The chemical reaction between PU and SBS degradation products dominated in the high-temperature stability of rejuvenated SBSmB and had a negative impact on its fatigue resistance, while the joint rejuvenation of 3 wt% PU and 10 wt% AO not only gave a better high-temperature property to aged SBSmB but could also have the capacity to improve its fatigue resistance. Compared to virgin SBSmB, PU/AO rejuvenated SBSmB has comparative low-temperature viscoelastic behavior characteristics and a much better resistance to medium-high-temperature elastic deformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycling and Resource Recovery of Polymeric Materials)
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17 pages, 2504 KiB  
Article
Study on the Performances of Waste Battery Powder Modified Asphalt and Asphalt Mixture
by Xinli Gan, Peng Chen, Bin Yu and Wengang Zhang
Polymers 2022, 14(24), 5409; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14245409 - 10 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1241
Abstract
As an asphalt modifier, waste battery powder (WBP) has been proven to be possible. This paper studies the modification effect of WBP on asphalt. The Flight Test Instrumentation Requirements (FITR) of WBP, Dynamic Shear Rheology (DSR) test, and Full Section Fracture Energy Test [...] Read more.
As an asphalt modifier, waste battery powder (WBP) has been proven to be possible. This paper studies the modification effect of WBP on asphalt. The Flight Test Instrumentation Requirements (FITR) of WBP, Dynamic Shear Rheology (DSR) test, and Full Section Fracture Energy Test (FSFET) of asphalt are carried out. The high-temperature rheological properties and low-temperature properties of WBP modified asphalt are analyzed. The high-temperature stability, low-temperature crack resistance and water stability of WBP modified asphalt mixture are tested. The research results show that the modification of asphalt by WBP is essentially physical modification but the mixing of WBP has a certain enhancement effect on the bond energy of the methylene group, which is helpful to improve the technical performance of modified asphalt. The proportion of elastic components in asphalt can be significantly increased by adding WBP, thus enhancing the deformation resistance of asphalt under high-temperature conditions. The dynamic shear modulus of 10% waste battery powder is about 1.5–2.0 times that of 0% waste battery powder. The mixing of WBP reduces the proportion of viscous components in asphalt which is unfavorable to the crack resistance under low temperatures. The greater the amount of WBP, the smaller the fracture energy density, the content of WBP is 6% and 10%, the fracture energy density is about 60–80% and 40–60% of the original asphalt, and the low temperature cracking resistance of asphalt decreases. The modification effect of WBP on asphalt is much lower than that of SBS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycling and Resource Recovery of Polymeric Materials)
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