Life Cycle Assessment of Particulate Recycled Low Density Polyethylene and Recycled Polypropylene Reinforced with Talc and Fiberglass
Although recycled polymers and reinforced polymer composites have been in use for many years there is little information available on their environmental impacts. The goal of the present study is to analyze the environmental impact of new composite materials obtained from the combination of recycled thermoplastics (polypropylene [PP] and polyethylene [PE]) with mineral fillers like talc and with glass fiber. The environmental impact of these composite materials is compared to the impact of virgin PP and PE. The recycled and virgin materials were compared using life cycle assessment method according to their environmental effects. Within the scope of the study, GaBi software was used for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) analysis. From cradle-to-grave life cycle inventory studies were performed for 1 kg of each of the thermoplastics. Landfilling was considered as reference scenario and compared with filled recycled plastics. A quantitative impact assessment was performed for four environmental impact categories, global warming (GWP) over a hundred years, human toxicity (HTP), abiotic depletion (ADP) and acidification potential (AP) were taken into consideration during LCA. In the comparison of recycled and virgin polymers, it was seen that recycling has lower environmental effect for different impact assessment methods like acidification potential, abiotic depletion, human toxicity and global warming.
S.M. Sapuan, F. Mustapha, D.L. Majid, Z. Leman, A.H.M. Ariff, M.K.A. Ariffin, M.Y.M. Zuhri, M.R. Ishak and J. Sahari
M. Al-Ma'adeed et al., "Life Cycle Assessment of Particulate Recycled Low Density Polyethylene and Recycled Polypropylene Reinforced with Talc and Fiberglass", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 471-472, pp. 999-1004, 2011