Chemical marker facilitates plastic recycling

Apr 08, 2014

Some years ago, a small recycling company asked the Center for Research in Advanced Materials (CIMAV) at Monterrey in the northeast of Mexico, a technology to identify PVC from PET, since the material caused them losses in their polymer recycling process.

After research, CIMAV developed a which identifies the PVC. It can be applied as a spray and in less than a minute it detects the flakes of said material.

Sergio Pérez Alfonso Garcia at CIMAV, collaborator in the research, explains that the company told them that a single bottle of PVC affects the price of a ton of PET. So they needed a system of differentiation for a better quality and competence in the field.

"What was given to the company was a chemical formulation to simply mark the product that needs to be removed, in this case the PVC; because it has similar to PET."

The group at CIMAV investigated what could be done technically and scientifically to deliver a formulation to the recycling company, and developed a product that the company could be applied by a , which saves time and lowers costs.

This formulation may be applied before separating the bottles, however, the company applies it when the polymers are already shredded, so they produced a liquid marker which is used as a spray on the flakes and in 30 seconds detects those which are made from PVC showing them in a bright color that stands out from the PET.

The chemical marker was specifically designed for companies dedicated to recycling PET, but is unknown if the product is commercially available.

"The chemical marker we designed is economical, the question is to train people to handle it."

Explore further: Producing biodegradable plastic just got cheaper and greener

Related Stories

Sorting plastic waste: A magnetic game

Jun 14, 2013

More than one third of the total plastic production in Europe—about 14 million tonnes per year—are polyolefins, also known as polyalkenes. This is a family of polymers used for the manufacture of a variety ...

Forever recyclable novel plastic thanks to old tyres

Apr 19, 2013

Tyres are well suited for recycling. They are easy to collect and do not require any costly sorting process. However, in Europe, still only about 50% of the tyres are recycled. The rest is incinerated or ...

When recycling equates with quality raw materials

Sep 09, 2013

Recycled materials are often of lower quality than the materials from which they were derived. Now the cradle-to-cradle recycling concept has been applied to carpets to deliver high-quality recycled material.

Recommended for you

Aluminum clusters shut down molecular fuel factory

Jul 06, 2015

Despite decades of industrial use, the exact chemical transformations occurring within zeolites, a common material used in the conversion of oil to gasoline, remain poorly understood. Now scientists have ...

New catalyst does more with less platinum

Jul 06, 2015

Platinum is a highly reactive and in-demand catalyst across the chemical and energy industries, but a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison and Georgia Institute of Technology scientists could reduce the ...

Learning from biology to accelerate discovery

Jul 06, 2015

A spider's web is one of the most intricate constructions in nature, but its precious silk has more than one use. Silk threads can be used as draglines, guidelines, anchors, pheromonal trails, nest lining, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.