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Newbie here to the forum. Very excited about the direction and goals of the members. I am not educated in the science of the various plastics or polymer chemical makeup. I have been chipping up many different forms of plastics and abs computer cases with an old Troy built Garden style wood chipper that I have modified. I have numerous 55 gallon drums of mixed plastic chips. I eventually want to build Dave’s shredder and also get into crumb rubber.
My question is about Pyrolysizing plastics. As you know applying heat to such things as plastic or rubber while held in a vacuum, will cause the material to break down and release a gas, BUT not burn because of no oxygen. That gas can be captured and depending on the material, can be condensed back into a liquid form such as oil. For example, cellophane. The gas can also be burned off, and with proper oxygen introduced, it will burn pretty clean and hot. HOWEVER, if that gas from some plastics or pvc is just allowed to escape out into the air, it can be very toxic. And by the way, the by-product is pure carbon black, which is a good thing to use or put back into the environment. My problem is not knowing enough about the different polymers in the various forms of plastics to know which chemicals are the real dangerous toxic ones, if allowed to escape. Because of your background education, could you possibly list the various plastics and the types of potential toxic chemicals they could produce if allowed to off-gas? Any educational information about these different types of plastics and the dangerous chemicals they could produce would be very much appreciated. @jtravis
New to the forum and saw this post. I have been chipping up plastic computer cases, printer plastic and just about anything else that would be big and bulky in our land fill. Just cannot bring myself to have it buried in a city dump. Over the past year I have probably chipped up into a small cullet size chips, tons of various forms of plastic. What I am using is a Troy built garden style Wood Chipper where I have modified the blades. (ground a sharp edge) My chipper came with two different sizes of screens. I use my table saw to cut down into strips that will slide down my hopper shute, and my first screen produces approx. 1″ dia chips. I run it through one more time with the smaller screen and get it down to 1/4 inch or smaller cullett. I have 55 gallon drums filled with plastic cullett. Now to decide what to do with it all. Anyways, the reason for this post is just to let you know, that a good garden chipper can get the job done as far as plastic is concerned. My next big thing is I want to chip rubber. I think I will need a good shredder like Dave’s for that. Feel free to comment. Thanks Sorry so long