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Mechanical recycling of polylactide, upgrading trends and combination of valorization techniques

The upcoming introduction of polylactides in the fractions of polymer waste encourages technologists to ascertain its valorization at the best quality conditions. Mechanical recycling of PLA represents one of the most cost-effective methodologies, but the recycled materials are usually directed to downgraded applications, due to the inherent thermo-mechanical degradation affecting its mechanical, thermal and rheological performance. In this review, the current state of mechanical recycling of PLA is reported, with special emphasis on a multi-scale comparison among different studies. Additionally, the applications of physical and chemical upgrading strategies, as well as the chances to blend and/or composite recycled PLA are considered. Moreover, the different valorization techniques that can be combined to optimize the value of PLA goods along its life cycle are discussed. Finally, a list of different opportunities to nurture the background of the mechanical recycling of PLA is proposed, in order to contribute to the correct waste management of PLA wastes.

» Author: J.D. Badia, A. Ribes-Greus

» Reference: European Polymer Journal, Volume 84

» Publication Date: 01/11/2016

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement N° 690103