Ocean plastic research
@cymek and I are working in the Precious Plastic & Parley shipping container in the Maldives til May.
While we’re here one of our focuses is learning about ocean plastic, particularly how the extended exposure to saltwater/UV/contamination affects its recyclability with the PP machines.
We’ll share our research below 🙂
@pauldufour @joandarcy @frogfall and everyone else on here, thank you so much for gathering all this information. This is all encouraging and motivating. I am working on starting a shop in the greater Seattle area just to handle some of the local plastic garbage. But this information is really broadening my sights on what I can do to help in my area and how big of an issue this really is.
In regards to the fuming issue, has anyone looked into adding an exhaust setup to their machines? Who does anyone know the proper amount of air exchanges needed to handle such fumes?
The V4 team is starting to look at the fume issue here http://onearmy.world/community/forums/topic/v4-fume-extraction-4/ . I added a fume hood to my version of an injection machine here http://onearmy.world/community/forums/topic/portable-desktop-injection-machine/page/3/ .
Depending on which machine you have or are planning to build, it can be easy or more difficult. Building it on wheels so you can roll it outside helps as well.
Perhaps out of scope yet but there is a new low-coast device for plastic type detection on the way (ordering in progress). PP could assist in MP sample – collection, for the Maldives, as a start; and at some point process it. Could be interesting though to know it where comes from and where it goes ( there is a pet project of mine in progress, MP tracker/sensor).
For a fume hood, one option could be adapting one of the 4 tube fluorescent shop lights. A lot of shops are switching to LED lighting and you may be able to get one for free from Craigslist or ask an electrician. Maybe add a skirt, hook up a blower (example: https://www.harborfreight.com/3-speed-portable-blower-61729.html ) and some ducting, for around $100 you could have a start of a system.
By the way, since they ware having a sale this weekend, I picked up one of those blowers. For its size, it moves a lot of air. I’ll probably make some version of the hood I described.
This is a great thread and thanks to everybody who contributed.
I am trying to recycle used fishing nets taken from the Atlantic around Ireland. So far I’ve tested what I think is PP and nylon netting. I’m using an injection machine and moulds that I bought from Plasticpreneur.
I manually cut up the nylon net with a scissors. I had to heat it to about 250 to get it to melt properly. There were some dodgy smelling fumes so I kept the injection machine outside.
Once heated the plastic flowed smoothly. I didn’t cut net to make a small pot so it’s only half completed. This was down to the quantity of material I used rather than anything else. The finished material was described as “seaweed green” which was very different to how the net originally looked.
It was incredibly difficult to get the pot out of the mould. I ended up using a hot air gun to reheat the plastic.
I’ve attached pics. There are a lot of nets being gathered around Ireland that need a proper solution.
Hi just to come back on the fumes.
With @joandarcy there were effectively a lot of misidentification of the plastic polymers we collect on the shore. I have made a little test bench for flotation with the 4 different fluids as mentioned in Precious Plastics documentation. We have narrowed the types of polymers and focus on PP and HDPE now. Our temperatures of injection and extrusion are much lower than the one used in this project and it has really reduced the fumes. I think the oil found in the rope could be from organic matter (assuming you don’t collect in harbors), we leave our material to rinse and bleach with the sun for at least 6 months before trying to recycle it.
Also an ocean waste which is very common but very good to recycle is fish boxes which are either in HDPE or in PP. However, you need an industrial shredder to eat them. Same with all the fish farm piping we receive regularly. We did a lot of mistakes because we listened to what people thought about the composition instead of systematically test a sample. It is better to wait a bit that your sample is melted than to get fumes. Example for HDPE, we don’t go over 145 at the moment and we hope to go under with a better control of what we put in.
Hope this help, good luck in your projects
Great insight, can you please share more details about temp tweaks ?
We are in elba island and engaging in the same process. Thanks. Fred
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.