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Advances in the Circularity of Polymeric and Composite Materials

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Advanced Composites".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 December 2023) | Viewed by 13678

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
IMT Nord Europe, Institut Mines Télécom, University of Lille, Centre for Materials and Processes, F-59653 Villeneuve d’Ascq, France
Interests: advanced composites; polymer composites; composites manufacturing and properties; polymer processing and properties; advanced manufacturing; additive manufacturing and 3D printing; structural health monitoring; recycling; bio-based polymers and composites
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Département Systèmes énergétiques et environnement/ GEPEA UMR-CNRS 6144, IMT Atlantique, Institut Mines-Télécom, Nantes, France
Interests: pyrolysis; alternative fuels; thermochemical processes; hydrothermal liquefaction; internal combustion engines; multiphysics modeling; engine tests; energy recovery

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Guest Editor
Institut Clément Ader (ICA), IMT Mines Albi, Institut Mines-Télécom, Albi, France
Interests: advanced composites; polymer composites; composites manufacturing and properties; recycling of composites; recycled carbon fibers; steam thermolysis; composites waste; mechanical properties

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Guest Editor
Centre des Matériaux des Mines d’Alès, Ecole des Mines d’Alès, 6 Avenue de Clavières, CEDEX 30319 Alès, France
Interests: nanocomposites; biobased composites; flame retardancy; additive manufacturing; recycling and life cycle analysis of polymer and composites
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Polymeric and composite materials are ubiquitous today. However, to improve their sustainability, it is of paramount importance to make sure that their waste does not end up in landfill or in the environment, and to find ways to recover and reuse these materials in useful and profitable applications. To contribute to building a resource-efficient future, it has become essential to put them in the loop of a more circular economy.

Eco-design, including design for recycling, has become the watchword, with several recycling techniques available and competing to achieve this ambitious goal. There is also an increasing number of attempts to reuse constitutive products recovered that way by reincorporating them into new materials or high value-added applications. Which methods achieve which objectives, however, and which make sense for various feedstocks?

This Special Issue welcomes papers (original research articles, state-of-the art reviews, short communications, perspectives, viewpoints, opinions, concept papers or case reports) on the latest advances and development of recycling, recovery, and reuse of polymeric and composite materials. Suggested contributions may address materials, processing, sorting, design, performance, or application issues, with either experimental or numerical approaches.

Prof. Dr. Patricia Krawczak
Dr. Sary Awad
Dr. Florentin Berthet
Prof. Dr. José-Marie Lopez-Cuesta
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • circular economy
  • recycling and recovery
  • recycling-by-design, design for recycling
  • upcyling
  • mechanical, chemical, or thermal recycling
  • solvolysis
  • depolymerization
  • thermolysis, pyrolysis, gasification
  • advanced sorting
  • waste materials
  • polymers, plastics
  • composites, fiber-reinforced plastics
  • thermoplastics, thermosets
  • glass, carbon or plant-based fibers
  • alternative fuels
  • engine tests
  • energy recovery

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 6048 KiB  
Article
Recovery of Chlorosilane Residual Liquid to Prepare Nano-Silica via the Reverse Micro-Emulsion Process
by Jixiang Cai, Youwen Li, Lianghuan Wei, Jiangpeng Xue, Ning Lin, Xianghao Zha and Guodong Fang
Materials 2023, 16(21), 6912; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16216912 - 27 Oct 2023
Viewed by 797
Abstract
In this paper, nano-silica particles were prepared from chlorosilane residue liquid using an inverse micro-emulsions system formed from octylphenyl polyoxyethylene ether (TX-100)/n-hexanol/cyclohexane/ammonia. The influence of different reaction conditions on the morphology, particle size, and dispersion of nano-silica particles was investigated via single-factor analysis. [...] Read more.
In this paper, nano-silica particles were prepared from chlorosilane residue liquid using an inverse micro-emulsions system formed from octylphenyl polyoxyethylene ether (TX-100)/n-hexanol/cyclohexane/ammonia. The influence of different reaction conditions on the morphology, particle size, and dispersion of nano-silica particles was investigated via single-factor analysis. When the concentration of chlorosilane residue liquid (0.08 mol/L), hydrophile-lipophilic-balance (HLB) values (10.50), and the concentration of ammonia (0.58 mol/L) were under suitable conditions, the nano-silica particles had a more uniform morphology, smaller particle size, and better dispersion, while the size of the nano-silica particles gradually increased with the increase in the molar ratio of water to surfactant (ω). The prepared nano-silica was characterized through XRD, FT-IR, N2 adsorption/desorption experiments, and TG-DSC analysis. The results showed that the prepared nano-silica was amorphous mesoporous silica, and that the BET specific surface area was 850.5 m2/g. It also had good thermal stability. When the temperature exceeded 1140 °C, the nano-silica underwent a phase transition from an amorphous form to crystalline. This method not only promoted the sustainable development of the polysilicon industry, it also provided new ideas for the protection of the ecological environment, the preparation of environmental functional materials, and the recycling of resources and energy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Circularity of Polymeric and Composite Materials)
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14 pages, 2427 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Mechanical, Thermal and Rheological Properties of Hop, Hemp and Wood Fiber Plastic Composites
by Sierra Talcott, Benjamin Uptmor and Armando G. McDonald
Materials 2023, 16(11), 4187; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16114187 - 5 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1234
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of waste natural fibers from milled hop bines and hemp stalks, without chemical treatment, and compare them to a commercial wood fiber for use in wood–plastic composite (WPC) materials. The fibers were characterized [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of waste natural fibers from milled hop bines and hemp stalks, without chemical treatment, and compare them to a commercial wood fiber for use in wood–plastic composite (WPC) materials. The fibers were characterized (density, fiber size and chemical composition). WPCs were produced by the extrusion of a blend of fibers (50%), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and coupling agent (2%). The WPCs were characterized for their mechanical, rheological, thermal, viscoelastic and water resistance properties. Pine fiber was about half the size of hemp and hop fibers and thus had a higher surface area. The pine WPC melts had a higher viscosity than the other two WPCs. Additionally, the tensile and flexural strengths of the pine WPC were higher than those of hop and hemp WPCs. The pine WPC was also shown to have the least water absorption followed by hop and hemp WPCs. This study highlights that different lignocellulosic fibers influence their WPC properties. The properties of the hop- and hemp-based WPCs were comparable to commercial WPCs and can be improved by further milling/screening the fibers to a smaller particle size (volumetric mean of ~88 μm) to increase their surface area, fiber–matrix interactions and improve stress-transfer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Circularity of Polymeric and Composite Materials)
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13 pages, 3896 KiB  
Article
Influence of Surface Chemistry of Fiber and Lignocellulosic Materials on Adhesion Properties with Polybutylene Succinate at Nanoscale
by Carlos Marcuello, Brigitte Chabbert, Françoise Berzin, Nicolas B. Bercu, Michael Molinari and Véronique Aguié-Béghin
Materials 2023, 16(6), 2440; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16062440 - 18 Mar 2023
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 2245
Abstract
The production of bio-based composites with enhanced characteristics constitutes a strategic action to minimize the use of fossil fuel resources. The mechanical performances of these materials are related to the specific properties of their components, as well as to the quality of the [...] Read more.
The production of bio-based composites with enhanced characteristics constitutes a strategic action to minimize the use of fossil fuel resources. The mechanical performances of these materials are related to the specific properties of their components, as well as to the quality of the interface between the matrix and the fibers. In a previous research study, it was shown that the polarity of the matrix played a key role in the mechanisms of fiber breakage during processing, as well as on the final properties of the composite. However, some key questions remained unanswered, and new investigations were necessary to improve the knowledge of the interactions between a lignocellulosic material and a polar matrix. In this work, for the first time, atomic force microscopy based on force spectroscopy measurements was carried out using functionalized tips to characterize the intermolecular interactions at the single molecule level, taking place between poly(butylene succinate) and four different plant fibers. The efficiency of the tip functionalization was checked out by scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, whereas the fibers chemistry was characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. Larger interactions at the nanoscale level were found between the matrix and hypolignified fibers compared to lignified ones, as in control experiments on single lignocellulosic polymer films. These results could significantly aid in the design of the most appropriate composite composition depending on its final use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Circularity of Polymeric and Composite Materials)
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15 pages, 3069 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Dynamic Surface Leaching of Monolithic Polymer Mortars Comprised of Wastes
by Walid Maherzi, Ilyas Ennahal, Fatima Zahra Bouaich, Mahfoud Benzerzour, Zakia Rais, Yannick Mamindy-Pajany and Nor-Edine Abriak
Materials 2023, 16(6), 2150; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16062150 - 7 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1223
Abstract
Today, the reuse of waste in building materials occupies an important place in the approach to the circularity of materials. National and European environmental regulations require ensuring the environmental safety of material-incorporating waste. For this, there are specific tests to verify that there [...] Read more.
Today, the reuse of waste in building materials occupies an important place in the approach to the circularity of materials. National and European environmental regulations require ensuring the environmental safety of material-incorporating waste. For this, there are specific tests to verify that there is no health risk when using these materials. Concretely, to check the environmental acceptability of construction materials, including wastes, the release of hazardous substances into water must be assessed. In this research, we performed a diffusion test with the sequential renewal of water during a 64-day period according to the NF EN 15863 specifications on polymer mortar monoliths, common construction products used in floor-covering applications and incorporating sediments. Polymer mortars were prepared at a laboratory scale by incorporating 30 or 50% of polluted sediment for various polymer concentrations (12, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 25%). It was shown that the release of inorganic substances is limited in these hydrodynamic conditions. Among trace elements, As, Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb and Zn are lower than quantification limits in most leachates, whereas Ba, Co, Cu and V are systematically quantified at low concentration levels. This is particularly true for samples displaying the highest polymer concentration (25%) and the lowest sediment incorporation rate (30%). This is because of the low water absorption level and low porosity of polymer mortar matrices. No adverse effect is to be expected for environmental health from the leachates of these construction materials, including waterways sediments, because all the measured parameters were below the Soil Quality Decree limits applied in the Netherlands for environmental assessment of construction products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Circularity of Polymeric and Composite Materials)
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13 pages, 712 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Performance of Flax Fiber Composites with Waste Glass Fibers as a Core Structure
by Anurag Pisupati and Myléne Deléglise Lagardère
Materials 2022, 15(24), 9017; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15249017 - 16 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1335
Abstract
This work sheds light on the first steps towards using glass fiber waste for semi-structural applications. This work aims to improve the properties of random flax fiber composites by incorporating waste glass fibers (WGF) obtained from the fiber production line. The waste glass [...] Read more.
This work sheds light on the first steps towards using glass fiber waste for semi-structural applications. This work aims to improve the properties of random flax fiber composites by incorporating waste glass fibers (WGF) obtained from the fiber production line. The waste glass fibers were incorporated as a core structure between the flax layers to form a hybrid composite. Two routes of manufacturing viz. vacuum infusion and autoclave were used to identify the optimum route to incorporate the WGF in flax fiber composites. The quality of composites was investigated in terms of residual void content and thickness uniformity. Residual void content was identified to be directly proportional to the WGF content in the composites. With the increase in WGF content, the flexural and impact properties were increased by 47% and 117%, respectively, indicating a positive hybridization effect. Furthermore, a global warming potential indicator was identified to be small, indicating the eco-friendliness of these composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Circularity of Polymeric and Composite Materials)
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Review

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22 pages, 1400 KiB  
Review
An Overview of the Non-Energetic Valorization Possibilities of Plastic Waste via Thermochemical Processes
by Kazem Moussa, Sary Awad, Patricia Krawczak, Ahmad Al Takash, Jalal Faraj and Mahmoud Khaled
Materials 2024, 17(7), 1460; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17071460 - 22 Mar 2024
Viewed by 790
Abstract
The recovery and recycling/upcycling of plastics and polymer-based materials is needed in order to reduce plastic waste accumulated over decades. Mechanical recycling processes have made a great contribution to the circularity of plastic materials, contributing to 99% of recycled thermoplastics. Challenges facing this [...] Read more.
The recovery and recycling/upcycling of plastics and polymer-based materials is needed in order to reduce plastic waste accumulated over decades. Mechanical recycling processes have made a great contribution to the circularity of plastic materials, contributing to 99% of recycled thermoplastics. Challenges facing this family of processes limit its outreach to 30% of plastic waste. Complementary pathways are needed to increase recycling rates. Chemical processes have the advantage of decomposing plastics into a variety of hydrocarbons that can cover a wide range of applications, such as monomers, lubricants, phase change materials, solvents, BTX (benzene, toluene, xylene), etc. The aim of the present work is to shed light on different chemical recycling pathways, with a special focus on thermochemicals. The study will cover the effects of feedstock, operating conditions, and processes used on the final products. Then, it will attempt to correlate these final products to some petrochemical feedstock being used today on a large scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Circularity of Polymeric and Composite Materials)
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26 pages, 2335 KiB  
Review
Circulatory Management of Polymer Waste: Recycling into Fine Fibers and Their Applications
by Alena Opálková Šišková, Petra Peer, Anita Eckstein Andicsová, Igor Jordanov and Piotr Rychter
Materials 2021, 14(16), 4694; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14164694 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4055
Abstract
In modern society, it is impossible to imagine life without polymeric materials. However, managing the waste composed of these materials is one of the most significant environmental issues confronting us in the present day. Recycling polymeric waste is the most important action currently [...] Read more.
In modern society, it is impossible to imagine life without polymeric materials. However, managing the waste composed of these materials is one of the most significant environmental issues confronting us in the present day. Recycling polymeric waste is the most important action currently available to reduce environmental impacts worldwide and is one of the most dynamic areas in industry today. Utilizing this waste could not only benefit the environment but also promote sustainable development and circular economy management. In its program statement, the European Union has committed to support the use of sorted polymeric waste. This study reviews recent attempts to recycle this waste and convert it by alternative technologies into fine, nano-, and microscale fibers using electrospinning, blowing, melt, or centrifugal spinning. This review provides information regarding applying reprocessed fine fibers in various areas and a concrete approach to mitigate the threat of pollution caused by polymeric materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Circularity of Polymeric and Composite Materials)
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