Process Safety and Environmental Protection, Vol.147, 723-733, 2021
Functionalization of char derived from pyrolysis of metallised food packaging plastics waste and its application as a filler in fiberglass/epoxy composites
Char derived from pyrolysis of plastic wastes represents about 20 wt.% of the released pyrolysis products. In order to maximize the economic benefits and applications of this fraction, this research aims to refine and reprocess char derived from plastic waste into carbon particles, then using it as a micro-filler material for light material applications. The experiments were performed on char derived from pyrolysis of metallised food packaging plastics wastes (MFPWs) that represent the most complicated part in plastic waste, and their char is usually loaded with aluminium elements. The experiments started with treating MFPWs in pyrolysis plant with a capacity of 250 g, followed by separation of char from other pyrolysis products. The derived char was exposed to a milling process followed by a leaching process to separate Al fraction and other heavy metals. The liberated carbon particles were exposed to functionalization process to remove any contamination and amorphous impurities. The functionalized carbon black particles in the form of spherical microparticles (FBC: 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and 1 wt.%) were used to enhance the mechanical impact, and thermal behaviour of fiberglass/epoxy composite laminates. The composite panels were prepared using vacuum-assisted resin transfer and curing processes. The morphology and the composition of FBC were examined using SEM-EDS and FTIR. Also, SEM and Optical Microscope were used to observe dispersion of FBC, microstructure, impact mechanism, and surface morphology of the fabricated matrix. The mechanical and impact properties of the panels were tested according to ASTM-D7025 and ISO 6603-2 standards, respectively. Finally, thermal behaviour of the panels was studied using a thermogravimetric analysis. The results showed that 0.75 wt.% of FBC were enough to improve the modulus of elasticity of panels by similar to 22 %, compared to a pure sample. In addition, thermal stability and energy impact absorption at the same concentration of FBCs were improved by 21 % (in the main decomposition zone) and 38 %, respectively. (C) 2021 Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.