Chemical ANalysis of Polymers

Recycling of Polymers and Plastics

Life without plastic products is hard to imagine. In Europe alone, more than 60 million tons of plastic are produced. About 50% of these are disposable products that end up in the waste after use. The recycling of polymer and plastic materials is a challenge with many aspects and solving it starts by understanding these plastics not as waste, but as a new and untapped resource.

GOING FROM WASTE TO VALUE

Polymer Identification

application of FT-IR in recycling

Identifying Polymer Types by Infrared Spectroscopy

If medium sized and large polymer parts are disposed of (e.g. automotive components), it is important to sort them by plastic type for recycling. An example would be thermoplastics such as polyamides, which can be recycled mechanically by thermal shaping, or chemically by acid- or base-catalyzed hydrolytic depolymerization.

So in this case, in order to obtain an acceptable recycled product, different polyamides must be reliably differentiated, since the quality of the new product depends directly on the purity of the recycled material. FT-IR spectroscopy offers an inexpensive, on-site and easy-to-use approach to perform chemical analysis of polymers and plastics.

Compact spectrometers are not only easy to transport, but also very simple to operate for untrained and/or frequently changing personnel. (placeholder)

Polymer Purity

application of FT-IR in polymer recycling

Verification of Incoming Recycled Polymers by Infrared Spectroscopy

The road to new plastic products is long for recycled polymers. This means that the material passes through many hands during sorting, typification, transport, repurposing and final production.

For processors, manufacturers and end customers, it is therefore very important to check the purity of supplied recycled materials.

Infrared spectroscopy allows qualitative and quantitative to avoid damages and optimize recycling processes. It analyzes polymers of any type, dimension and size, e.g. molten films, shred or pellets .