IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 395: On the Kinetics of Degradation Reaction Determined Post Accelerated Weathering of Polyolefin Plastic Waste Blends (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Polyolefin (PO) polymers constitute the majority of consumer plastic commodities. The reliance on such materials make it near imposable to avoid touching one in any given day. Therefore, the accumulation of plastic solid waste (PSW) in developed and developing societies alike requires immediate attention to manage and valorize this type of waste. In this work, PSW originating from real life sources and virgin linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) films were compounded in a mechanical recycling effort. The recycled blends constituted up to 100% (by weight) of the waste material. Accelerated weathering (aging) was conducted on the blends, reaching threshold limit of exposure to study the major changes occurring on the recycled blends. Thermogravimetry and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were used to determine their characteristics and applicability for future recycling using thermo-chemical treatment (TCT) methods. Analytical solution methods following the international committee of thermal analysis and calorimetry (ICTAC) were followed in conducting the measurements and kinetic calculations alike. A novel analytical mathematical solution model is also introduced to determine both the pre-exponential factor (Ao) and apparent activation energy (Ea) of the degradation reaction. The model proved to be a more accurate analysis tool, and the work in whole enabled the determination of future plans for using such waste components as a feedstock to thermal units.