Currently, the epoxy resin market is expressing concerns about epoxy resins’ non-recyclability, which can hinder their widespread use. Moreover, epoxy monomers are synthesized via petroleum-based raw materials, which also limits their use. So, it is crucial to find more environmentally friendly alternative solution for their formulation. Within this context, the aim of this paper is to exploit a Cradle-to-Cradle approach, which consists of remodeling and reshaping the productive cycle of consumer products to make sure that they can be infinitely reused rather than just being recycled with a downgrading of their properties or uses, according to the principle of the complete circular economy. Indeed, after starting with a fully-recyclable bio-based epoxy formulation and assessing its recyclability as having a process yield of 99%, we obtained a recycled polymer that could be reused, mixing with the same bio-based epoxy formulation with percentages varying from 15 wt% to 27 wt%. The formulation obtained was thoroughly characterized by a dynamic-mechanical analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, and flexural tests. This approach had two advantages: (1) it represented a sustainable disposal route for the epoxy resin, with nearly all the epoxy resin recovered, and (2) the obtained recycled polymer could be used as a green component of the primary bio-based epoxy matrix. In the end, by using replicated general factorial designs (as statistical tools) combined with a proper optimization process, after carrying out a complete thermo-mechanical characterization of the developed epoxy formulations, the right percentage of recycled polymer content was selected with the aim of identifying the most performing epoxy matrix formulation in terms of its thermo-mechanical properties.

Chemical Recycling of Fully Recyclable Bio-Epoxy Matrices and Reuse Strategies: A Cradle-to-Cradle Approach

Lorena Saitta;Giuliana Rizzo;Claudio Tosto;Gianluca Cicala;Ignazio Blanco;Eugenio Pergolizzi;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Currently, the epoxy resin market is expressing concerns about epoxy resins’ non-recyclability, which can hinder their widespread use. Moreover, epoxy monomers are synthesized via petroleum-based raw materials, which also limits their use. So, it is crucial to find more environmentally friendly alternative solution for their formulation. Within this context, the aim of this paper is to exploit a Cradle-to-Cradle approach, which consists of remodeling and reshaping the productive cycle of consumer products to make sure that they can be infinitely reused rather than just being recycled with a downgrading of their properties or uses, according to the principle of the complete circular economy. Indeed, after starting with a fully-recyclable bio-based epoxy formulation and assessing its recyclability as having a process yield of 99%, we obtained a recycled polymer that could be reused, mixing with the same bio-based epoxy formulation with percentages varying from 15 wt% to 27 wt%. The formulation obtained was thoroughly characterized by a dynamic-mechanical analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, and flexural tests. This approach had two advantages: (1) it represented a sustainable disposal route for the epoxy resin, with nearly all the epoxy resin recovered, and (2) the obtained recycled polymer could be used as a green component of the primary bio-based epoxy matrix. In the end, by using replicated general factorial designs (as statistical tools) combined with a proper optimization process, after carrying out a complete thermo-mechanical characterization of the developed epoxy formulations, the right percentage of recycled polymer content was selected with the aim of identifying the most performing epoxy matrix formulation in terms of its thermo-mechanical properties.
2023
circular economy; chemical recycling; fully recyclable epoxy resin; thermoplastic/epoxy resin blend; bio-based resin; recycled matrices reuse
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/564869
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