Recycling of halogenated polymers
Halogenated polymers, such as PVC (polyvinylchloride), PVDC (polyvinylidenedichloride) and PTFE (polytetrafluroethylene, or Teflon) are widely used in applications ranging from packaging to consumer goods to coatings. However, there are currently no sustainable methods that address their end-of-life. While PVC and PVDC are thermoplastic, thermomechanical recycling (viz. melting and re-extruding and re-processing them) is problematic. These polymers are unstable to thermomechanical processes and release chlorine in the form of acid. Incineration of halogenated polymers is also challenging due to the formation of acidic products. This project will explore methods for recycling (either thermomechanical or chemical) or halogen containing polymers. In particular, the feasibility of using supercritical fluids for recycling of halogenated polymers will be considered.
This project will be co-advised by Prof Sandip Roy. Also, this project is supported by a prominent polymer industry, Solvay (see: https://www.solvay.com/en/brands/ixan-pvdc).