Upcycling plastic wastes
Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues. The United Nations Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution (GESAMP) estimated that land-based sources account for up to 80 percent of the world's marine pollution, 60 to 95 percent of the waste being plastics debris. In Singapore, almost 1 million tonnes plastic waste was produced in 2019 with only 4% being recycled, hence it is a prerequisite to recycle plastic waste to increase the total waste recycling rate to 70% by 2030 and then towards a zero waste nation.
On the basis of our strong expertise in polymer science and technology, IMRE is developing cost-effective approaches to upcycling plastic waste in several approaches.
Developing plastic waste concrete (PWC)
Plastic waste is processed to become aggregates, and aggregates were treated to form PWC with a good workability, higher water absorption and improved resistance to chloride ingress. We are to develop surface treatments of plastic waste aggregates to improve the compatibility with cements to overcome the lower compress strength, elastic modules, splitting strength and fracture energy and higher shrinkage during drying.
Developing plastic waste bitumen (PWB)
Similar to formulate PWC, plastic waste aggregates are integrated with bitumen to produce PWB with no pothole formation, better water resistance and less water stagnation. Also we are to develop surface treatments of plastic waste aggregates for good compatibility with bitumen.
Developing plastic waste sealants (PWS)
Plastic waste particles and/or fibers are formed and added into sealants to improve chemical resistance and mechanical properties. Facile surface treatment methods of plastic waste aggregates were developed to enhance toughness, reduce phase separation and domain size.
Producing fine chemicals from Plastic waste (PWCh)
A cost-effective chemical and bio-process was developed to convert waste PET into MMT and TPA chemicals with high purities. The colors from the PET wastes can also be removed after the treatment.
Producing fuel from plastic waste (PWO)
A patent technology was developed to increase the yield and quality of liquid fuel by avoiding the formation of HCl upon pyrolysis of PVC. This catalyzed pyrolysis also demonstrated excellent efficiency in reducing instable unsaturated hydrocarbons and viscous residue of PP/PE.
- Develop approaches to recycle plastic waste
- Develop plastic waste aggregates for concrete
- Develop plastic waste aggregates for bitumen
- Develop plastic waste sealants
- Produce fine chemicals from plastic wastes
- Produce fuels from plastic waste.
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