Q-CORP – Quality model for COntaminated Recycled Polyolefins

Q-CORP will develop a multifactor quality prediction model for contaminated recycled polyolefins, accounting for the most relevant aspects of mechanical recycling, the specific structural nature of polyolefins and potential product applications.

In a nutshell

Q-CORP entails the development of a multi-factor quality model for the mechanical recycling of contaminated polyolefins. As contaminations we consider either (up to 20%) other polymers, introduced by multilayer packaging or imperfect sorting, or smaller amounts of components. The expansion of smaller contaminants include: polymer contaminations (barrier or functional layers), non-polymeric contaminations (paper labels), but also relevant (quar)ternary multicomponent systems. The scaling of pre-treatment effects and performance additives is also included. The model is based in polymer science and will take aspects from miscibility, polyolefin chain architecture and deformation mechanisms to come to a predictive output that gives insight into potential applications for the recycled plastics. At the end, a correction factor on the ‘application’ output by the contamination levels known for the polymer blend compared to the virgin application will be given.

Impact

The main impact of Q-CORP model will be a scientific tool for material developers to estimate the effect of irrevocably combining polymers in a product like a multilayer (as a Design for Recycling tool) and for recyclers to estimate to what level they need to (make the costs to) purify PO waste streams in order to obtain a certain quality level and outlet potential (fit-for-use sorting tool).

Project Details 

Project type: International DPI funded project
Total budget: €250.500
Duration: 1/02/2020 – 31/01/2023
UGent contact: dr. Karen Van Kets (Circular Plastics, prof. Kim Ragaert)