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Article

Is it Possible to Mechanical Recycle the Materials of the Disposable Filtering Masks?

Dipartimento di Scienza Applicata e Tecnologia, Politecnico di Torino, Alessandria site, Viale Teresa Michel 5, 15121 Alessandria, Italy
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Polymers 2020, 12(11), 2726; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12112726
Received: 21 October 2020 / Revised: 14 November 2020 / Accepted: 15 November 2020 / Published: 17 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Waste Recycling and Management)
In a singular period, such as during a pandemic, the use of personal protective masks can become mandatory for all citizens in many places worldwide. The most used device is the disposable mask that, inevitably, generates a substantial waste flow to send to incineration or landfill. The article examines the most diffused type of disposable face mask and identifies the characteristic of the constituent materials through morphological, chemical, physical, and thermal analyses. Based on these investigations, a mechanical recycling protocol with different approaches is proposed. Advantages and disadvantages of the different recycling solutions are discussed with considerations on necessary separation processes and other treatments. The four solutions investigated lead to a recycling index from 78 to 91% of the starting disposable mask weight. The rheological, mechanical, and thermo-mechanical properties of the final materials obtained from the different recycling approaches are compared with each other and with solutions present on the market resulting in materials potentially industrially exploitable. View Full-Text
Keywords: filtering face mask; recycling; personal protective equipment (PPE); covid-19; disposable; non-woven fabric; recycled-polypropylene (rPP) filtering face mask; recycling; personal protective equipment (PPE); covid-19; disposable; non-woven fabric; recycled-polypropylene (rPP)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Battegazzore, D.; Cravero, F.; Frache, A. Is it Possible to Mechanical Recycle the Materials of the Disposable Filtering Masks? Polymers 2020, 12, 2726. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12112726

AMA Style

Battegazzore D, Cravero F, Frache A. Is it Possible to Mechanical Recycle the Materials of the Disposable Filtering Masks? Polymers. 2020; 12(11):2726. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12112726

Chicago/Turabian Style

Battegazzore, Daniele, Fulvia Cravero, and Alberto Frache. 2020. "Is it Possible to Mechanical Recycle the Materials of the Disposable Filtering Masks?" Polymers 12, no. 11: 2726. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12112726

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