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Topic Tag: precious plastic

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Hi all! My name is Adrián and I am in Eindhoven with the PP V4 team! Styrofoam is going to be one focus for the 4th version of the project. In the beginning, styrofoam was a commercial name for XPS (Extruded Polystyrene), later becoming a more casual name for EPS (Expanded Polystyrene). At their core, both materials have the same root which is PS (Polystyrene) so both work in a similar way. There are some differences between them, because they are made with different processes, so there are some slight differences. This post will explain what are we doing here with this focus, so that we can share our knowledge, to solve the problem of EPS and XPS all together. Any tips or help is welcome, all experiences are a bonus for us and extra knowledge is always good! Here’s a summary of the options that we have for recycling EPS: I think that we can make a few alternative processes; To return the EPS and XPS to its earlier form, by melting it and converting it into PS. Or... by working with EPS and XPS to find solutions without changing its properties too much. Two other options could be to convert EPS and XPS into active carbon for filtering and cleaning water (see: https://archive.googlesciencefair.com/projects/en/2016/2ca4f4c493f29dff24dd2d14ff404868348cb44abb782f5dba8089a40c1c7caf )or even to feed to mealworms in our ‘beyond plastic’ research (see: https://www.plasticula.com/ you can also ask Jannis @dasjannis who is also part of our army!) Focussing now on turning EPS or XPS into PS, we have two types of process; involving heat or chemicals. - Chemical process with which the molecules of PS react, causing the material to melt - Terpenes such as D-Limonene, which is part of the group of monoterpenes, it could be extracted from essential oils in citric fruits. I do not know if it could work also with other monoterpenes. Like Pinene (pine), Myrcene (hop) Linanool (lavender). If someone has tried with them it could be interesting to know how they work. - Acetone and esters - Saturated aliphatic hydrocarbons - Carbures - Diesel oil - Thermal process : The temperature that we are working with now is in-between 160ºC and 180ºC. Although from 100ºC (glass transition temperature) we notice some changed to the characteristics of EPS and XPS. To keep working with EPS and XPS we also have two types of mechanical process; shredded or un-shredded. Once shredded we can use the pellets in the following ways: - Using it for filling textiles (pillows etc.) - Making bricks by mixing the pellets with concrete (the down-side of this option is that it will be really difficult to recycle it again) - Some agricultural applications, mixed with soil (we have the same problem with difficulty to further recycle) Un-shredded, we can use the material in the following ways: - We can cut, and sand it in an easy way, depending on the density of the EPS we have. (The issue with this option is that the process leaves leftovers. This is aimed towards reusing rather than recycling) -We can also make molds with it, then fill the sand with melted aluminium and burn the EPS. However, this is not a very eco-friendly system. (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH-PaNugz9w )
Viewing 30 topics - 1 through 30 (of 656 total)