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Removal of inorganic colour pigments from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene by dissolution-based recycling

: Arends, Dagmar; Schlummer, Martin; Mäurer, Andreas


Journal of material cycles and waste management 14 (2012), No.2, pp.85-93
ISSN: 1438-4957
ISSN: 1611-8227
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IVV ()

Reinserting thermoplastic industrial scrap materials back into the production process must be feasible and cost-effective. Unfortunately, many thermoplastic materials contain colour pigments that cause undesired colour effects and, therefore, have to be removed before recycling. The purpose of this study was to reduce the inorganic colour pigments titanium dioxide, chromium(III) oxide and iron(III) oxide from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. Based on experiences with dissolution-based polymer recycling, the two methods for removing these colour pigments studied in this project were filtration and centrifugation. Multiple laboratory-scale experiments were performed with two solvent formulations, acetone and CreaSolv® SB. Using the filtration method, both solvent formulations achieved reduction rates of 80% for titanium and iron and 90% for chromium. While similar reduction rates were obtained with high-speed laboratory-type centrifuges for acetone solutions, the results for CreaSolv® SB solutions were considerably lower under the same experimental conditions. Increasing the temperature or centrifugation speed, however, will also increase the reduction rates. Thereby, CreaSolv® SB solutions become suitable for industrial-scale processes. This is important because industrial processes based on CreaSolv® SB solutions are significantly safer than acetone-based processes.