24.05.2023 by Aileen Sammler
How to Identify and Quantify Different Plastic Compositions in the Recycling Stream
Composite films are indispensable in the packaging industry. However, these products should not only to be oxygen-tight, transparent, printable and possessed to a certain flexibility. Because plastics are poorly biodegradable, but should remain a valuable resource after their useful life, the focus on recycling pathways is more important than ever.
Last week, we explained, how multi-layer packaging films can be investigated with regard to their composition by means of Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and the NETZSCH PeakSeparationAdvanced Software Package.
However, these products should not only to be oxygen-tight, transparent, printable and possessed to a certain flexibility. Because plastics are poorly biodegradable, but should remain a valuable resource after their useful life, the focus on recycling pathways is more important than ever.
The majority of plastics used in packaging are polyolefins; namely PP and PE like HDPE, LDPE and LLDPE. Thus, a combination of these materials is found in our recycling streams. This poses a challenge, because PE and PP are immiscible and incompatible both in molten and in solid state.
Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) has been proven to be suitable for the analysis of mixed plastic waste and recycled polyolefin blends. It utilizes the thermal fingerprint of a material, which is, among other factors, determined by their backbone structure, molecular weight, side groups and branching. The significantly different melting temperatures of the materials can be used to identify the different components of a mixture, while their weight percentage is estimated based on the melting enthalpy.
In many cases, the peak areas of PP and PEs found in such mixtures overlap, which requires that the peaks are being separated for a reliable determination of the individual components. For this purpose, the PeakSeparation analysis in the Proteus® software comes into play. Read our latest Application Note to learn more:
More About PeakSeparation
One of the advanced features within the Proteus® software is the PeakSeparation function: If your experimental curve looks very complex with several maxima and seems to contain multiple overlapping peaks, then PeakSeparation can help separate these peaks and analyze each peak individually.
PeakSeparation can be applied to thermoanalytical measurements such as DSC/DTA curves, TGA and DIL curves, IR traces and MS curves.
With PeakSeparation, each peak is analyzed individually and peak parameters such as shape type (Frazer-Suzuki, Gauss, Cauchy, Laplace etc.), position of peak (temperature), height, width and area (e. g., enthalpy of the DSC peak) are reported.
Price Reduction for the PeakSeparation Function
Take advantage! The price for the PeakSeparation function of Proteus® version 8 and 9 has now been significantly reduced!
Ask your regional contact for an offer!