Topic Editors

Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials, Polish Academy of Sciences, 41-800 Zabrze, Poland
Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials, Polish Academy of Sciences, 34. M. Curie-Sklodowska St., 41-819 Zabrze, Poland
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Medicine in Zabrze, Academy of Silesia, 40-555 Katowice, Poland
1. Institute of Materials and Machine Mechanics, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, 845 13 Bratislava, Slovakia
2. Polymer Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, 845 41 Bratislava, Slovakia
Petru Poni Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Iasi, Romania
Laboratory of Amphiphilic and Ionogenic Polymers, Institute of Polymers - Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Akad. G. Bonchev St., Bl. 103A, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria

Green Polymer Materials for Circular Economy and Sustainable Development

Abstract submission deadline
31 August 2024
Manuscript submission deadline
31 October 2024
Viewed by
4811

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Producing more than 2.5 billion tonnes of waste a year, the European Union has forced the European Parliament to take appropriate legal measures and promote the transition to a more sustainable model known as a circular economy. This means using raw materials more efficiently, keeping waste to a minimum, and extending the life cycle of products through repeated use (repair, reuse, recycling, and remanufacture). Green polymer materials made from (bio)degradable and/or renewable and/or recycled raw materials can help to prevent and partially reduce waste and contribute to more sustainable life cycles. Furthermore, carbon-neutral energy should be used to produce such polymers, and the end products can be reused or recycled, including organic recycling (processed into compost or biogas). (Bio)degradable and/or renewable and/or recyclable plastics have a lower carbon footprint and may, in some cases, exhibit more favorable material properties in many applications. This Topic welcomes papers that address interdisciplinary approaches aimed at the development of (bio)degradable and/or renewable and/or recyclable polymer materials for environmental, packaging, and medical needs.

Dr. Joanna Rydz
Dr. Marta Musioł
Dr. Barbara Zawidlak-Węgrzyńska
Dr. Alena Opálková Šišková
Dr. Cristian Peptu
Prof. Dr. Darinka Christova
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • water-born polymers
  • (bio)degradable polymers
  • cyclodextrin-based polyester
  • nanofibers
  • biocomposite
  • smart textiles
  • polymer biomaterials
  • polymeric drug carrier
  • biopolymers
  • environmental impact
  • lifetime prediction
  • biocompatibility
  • materials structure and property
  • controlled release
  • drug delivery system
  • electrospinning

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Biomolecules
biomolecules
5.5 8.3 2011 16.9 Days CHF 2700 Submit
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ijms
5.6 7.8 2000 16.3 Days CHF 2900 Submit
Materials
materials
3.4 5.2 2008 13.9 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Nanomaterials
nanomaterials
5.3 7.4 2010 13.6 Days CHF 2900 Submit
Pharmaceutics
pharmaceutics
5.4 6.9 2009 14.2 Days CHF 2900 Submit
Polymers
polymers
5.0 6.6 2009 13.7 Days CHF 2700 Submit

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Published Papers (5 papers)

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17 pages, 4608 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of the Effects of Incorporating Post-Industrial Recycled LLDPE and Post-Consumer PE in Films: Macrostructural and Microstructural Perspectives in the Packaging Industry
by Ricardo Ballestar de las Heras, Xavier Colom and Javier Cañavate
Polymers 2024, 16(7), 916; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16070916 - 27 Mar 2024
Viewed by 580
Abstract
In accordance with the Circular Economy Package of the European directive, the Spanish government compels manufacturers of plastic bags to include into their products a minimum of 70% of polyethylene (PE) waste. Following this mandate can be challenging and requires a deep knowledge [...] Read more.
In accordance with the Circular Economy Package of the European directive, the Spanish government compels manufacturers of plastic bags to include into their products a minimum of 70% of polyethylene (PE) waste. Following this mandate can be challenging and requires a deep knowledge of the alterations produced by the recycling in the main components of a plastic bag film: lineal low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), the LLDPE recycled post-industry, generated as waste from an industrial process (rLLDPE) and the PE recycled from post-consumer use (rPE), that has been picked up, cleaned, and reprocessed. This study provides insight in the macro and microstructural changes produced by several cycles of recycling in these materials. Specimens in the form of film for supermarket bags formed with these polymers have been subjected to several recycling sequences. The process closely mimics industrial processes. Four cycles have been applied to the samples. The evolution of mechanical properties, including tensile strength, elongation at break, and tear and impact tests, shows an obvious decrease due to degradation that is not an impediment for practical use after the four cycles of recycling according to the main specifications defined by the producer. Colorimetric measurements reveal no significant variations in the color of the films. The results of the FTIR and TGA analysis show degradation phenomena and changes in crystallinity in branching and the apparition of crosslinking that are in consonance with the mechanical data. There is also a difference between both types of recycled PE. In general, rLLDPE is more affected by the recycling than rPE. According to our findings, the limiting property would be the tearing. By comparing these values with bags available in the market, manufactured from 70–80% recycled material, we can infer that while two reprocessing cycles can lead to good results, a maximum of four cycles of recycling is advisable. Full article
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20 pages, 3724 KiB  
Article
Ductile Copolyesters Prepared Using Succinic Acid, 1,4-Butanediol, and Bis(2-hydroxyethyl) Terephthalate with Minimizing Generation of Tetrahydrofuran
by Sang Uk Park, Hyeon Jeong Seo, Yeong Hyun Seo, Ju Yong Park, Hyunjin Kim, Woo Yeon Cho, Pyung Cheon Lee and Bun Yeoul Lee
Polymers 2024, 16(4), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16040519 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 642
Abstract
Poly(1,4-butylene succinate) (PBS) is a promising sustainable and biodegradable synthetic polyester. In this study, we synthesized PBS-based copolyesters by incorporating 5–20 mol% of –O2CC6H4CO2– and –OCH2CH2O– units through the polycondensation of [...] Read more.
Poly(1,4-butylene succinate) (PBS) is a promising sustainable and biodegradable synthetic polyester. In this study, we synthesized PBS-based copolyesters by incorporating 5–20 mol% of –O2CC6H4CO2– and –OCH2CH2O– units through the polycondensation of succinic acid (SA) with 1,4-butanediol (BD) and bis(2-hydroxyethyl) terephthalate (BHET). Two different catalysts, H3PO4 and the conventional catalyst (nBuO)4Ti, were used comparatively in the synthesis process. The copolyesters produced using the former were treated with M(2-ethylhexanoate)2 (M = Mg, Zn, Mn) to connect the chains through ionic interactions between M2+ ions and either –CH2OP(O)(OH)O or (–CH2O)2P(O)O groups. By incorporating BHET units (i.e., –O2CC6H4CO2– and –OCH2CH2O–), the resulting copolyesters exhibited improved ductile properties with enhanced elongation at break, albeit with reduced tensile strength. The copolyesters prepared with H3PO4/M(2-ethylhexanoate)2 displayed a less random distribution of –O2CC6H4CO2– and –OCH2CH2O– units, leading to a faster crystallization rate, higher Tm value, and higher yield strength compared to those prepared with (nBuO)4Ti using the same amount of BHET. Furthermore, they displayed substantial shear-thinning behavior in their rheological properties due to the presence of long-chain branches of (–CH2O)3P=O units. Unfortunately, the copolyesters prepared with H3PO4/M(2-ethylhexanoate)2, and hence containing M2+, –CH2OP(O)(OH)O, (–CH2O)2P(O)O groups, did not exhibit enhanced biodegradability under ambient soil conditions. Full article
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16 pages, 4910 KiB  
Article
Comparative Study of Different Pretreatment and Combustion Methods on the Grindability of Rice-Husk-Based SiO2
by Yunhai Ma, Shengwang Yuan, Zichao Ma, Yihao Hou, Shichao Niu, Li Lekai, Guoqin Liu and Feipeng Cao
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(22), 2951; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13222951 - 15 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 678
Abstract
The rice husk (RH) combustion pretreatment method plays a crucial role in the extraction of nanoscale SiO2 from RH as a silicon source. This study examined the effects of diverse pretreatment methods and combustion temperatures on the particle size distribution of nanoscale [...] Read more.
The rice husk (RH) combustion pretreatment method plays a crucial role in the extraction of nanoscale SiO2 from RH as a silicon source. This study examined the effects of diverse pretreatment methods and combustion temperatures on the particle size distribution of nanoscale high-purity amorphous SiO2 extracted from rice husk ash (RHA) post RH combustion. The experiment was structured using the Taguchi method, employing an L9 (21 × 33) orthogonal mixing table. The median diameter (D50) served as the output response parameter, with the drying method (A), combustion temperature (B), torrefaction temperature (C), and pretreatment method (D) as the input parameters. The results showed the torrefaction temperature (C) as being the predominant factor affecting the D50, which decreased with an increasing torrefaction temperature (C). The optimal parameter combination was identified as A2B2C3D2. The verification test revealed that roasting could improve the abrasiveness of Rh-based silica and reduce the average particle size. Torrefaction at medium temperatures might narrow the size distribution range of RHA-SiO2. We discovered that the purity of silica increased with an increasing roasting temperature by evaluating the concentration of silica in the sample. The production of RHA with silica concentrations up to 92.3% was investigated. X-ray diffraction analysis affirmed that SiO2’s crystal structure remained unaltered across different treatment methods, consistently presenting as amorphous. These results provide a reference for extracting high-value products through RH combustion. Full article
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18 pages, 3510 KiB  
Article
Alternative Solid Activators from Waste Glass for One-Part Alkali-Activated Fly Ash/Red Mud Cements
by Nicolaie Marin, Cristina Orbeci, Liliana Bobiricǎ, Ileana Rău, Calin Deleanu, Elena Iuliana Bîru, Paul Octavian Stănescu, Andrei Constantin Berbecaru, Ecaterina Matei and Constantin Bobiricǎ
Materials 2023, 16(20), 6707; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16206707 - 16 Oct 2023
Viewed by 865
Abstract
Solid activators based on waste glass for the manufacture of one-part alkali-activated fly ash/red mud materials were synthesized, characterized, and tested in this work. The synthesis was carried out via alkaline fusion with sodium hydroxide at different reaction temperatures and at different sodium [...] Read more.
Solid activators based on waste glass for the manufacture of one-part alkali-activated fly ash/red mud materials were synthesized, characterized, and tested in this work. The synthesis was carried out via alkaline fusion with sodium hydroxide at different reaction temperatures and at different sodium hydroxide/waste glass mass ratios. The results showed that the reaction temperature decisively influences the properties of the obtained solid activators. Thus, the best results regarding the water solubility of solid activators were obtained for the synthesis temperature of 600 °C, regardless of the sodium hydroxide/waste glass mass ratio. Also, the use of these assortments of solid activators led to obtaining the best compressive strength of one-part alkali-activated fly ash/red mud materials. The best results were obtained for the solid activator synthesized at a temperature of 600 °C and a sodium hydroxide/glass waste mass ratio of two. Full article
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16 pages, 18189 KiB  
Article
Influence of Pyrolytic Carbon Black Derived from Waste Tires at Varied Temperatures within an Industrial Continuous Rotating Moving Bed System
by Haibin Fang, Zhanfeng Hou, Lingdi Shan, Xiaohui Cai and Zhenxiang Xin
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3460; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163460 - 18 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1078
Abstract
Nowadays, waste tires have emerged as one of the most significant sources of environmental pollution. To address this issue, pyrolysis has become a widely adopted method. The continuous rotary kiln reactor has particularly gained popularity in industrial production for pyrolysis due to its [...] Read more.
Nowadays, waste tires have emerged as one of the most significant sources of environmental pollution. To address this issue, pyrolysis has become a widely adopted method. The continuous rotary kiln reactor has particularly gained popularity in industrial production for pyrolysis due to its suitability. In order to guide the development of new industrial continuous rotary kiln reactors and achieve high-performance pyrolytic carbon black (CBp), this study was conducted to investigate the relationship between the physical and chemical characteristics of CBp and pyrolysis temperature. The elevated-temperature procedure led to a reduction in DBP values from 90 to 70 mL/100 mg, accompanied by a rise in the specific surface area from 63 to 77 m2/g. The augmentation of pyrolysis temperature was noted to induce the agglomeration of CBp particles, thereby negatively impacting their dispersion within polymer matrices. CBp particles at 550 °C exhibited greater structural order, as determined by Raman spectroscopy, which can be attributed to the elevated temperature proximate to the cylinder wall surface. Furthermore, the potential of CBp for reinforcement in natural rubber (NR) was taken into consideration. The pronounced propensity of high-temperature CBps to agglomerate led to uneven dispersion within the polymer, consequently causing heightened heat accumulation and the emergence of the Payne effect. Based on a thorough analysis of the outcomes, the optimal pyrolysis temperature for CBp synthesis within the continuous reactor was ascertained. Full article
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