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2023 | Buch

Recycled Materials for Construction Applications

Plastic Products and Composites


Über dieses Buch

This book presents the state of the art on the topic of recycling of plastic building materials, comprising a synthetic market analysis, and presenting the latest developments in plastic recycling technologies. The book also makes recommendations to optimize the success of recycling and encourage the circular economy, while acknowledging the environmental and sustainability implications of plastic recycling for building construction. The distinctive features of this book are the variety of topics covered on sustainable plastic recycling, the discussion of advances in plastic recycling technology, detailed illustrations, and summarized descriptions of separation processes. This book is a guide for both technical and non-technical readers, and for anyone involved in plastic waste or recycling, including researchers and students in plastics engineering, polymer science, polymer chemistry, environmental science, and sustainable materials.


Chapter 1. Environmental Aspects
Plastics are an important material in our economy, essential in everyday lives. However, they have a high carbon footprint related to their production and can have serious negative effects on the environment and human health.
Some of the environmental problems of plastics are referred in this chapter.
The sustainability of plastics in general and in relation to those used in the construction, which imply some controversy and divergence of opinions, is also addressed.
The plastics strategy aiming to protect our environment and reduce marine litter, greenhouse gas emissions, and our dependence on imported fossil fuels requires action in strategic domains to optimize and increase the amount of recycled plastic, reuse and recycling, referred here.
Finally, the environmental impacts associated with all stages of the entire life cycle of some plastic products used in construction are summarized by specific LCA case studies. A reference to LCA of different recycling processes is also done.
Luís Eduardo Pimentel Real
Chapter 2. Plastic Materials and Additives
Although all plastics are polymers, not all polymers are plastics, due to the addition of specific additives in order to provide the materials with characteristics suitable for their various applications. Thus, in this chapter, the various types of plastics, like thermoplastics, thermosets, and elastomers, as well as the additives usually incorporated in polymers, virgin or recycled, are described.
Sustainable alternatives and more environmentally friendly polymers, like “biobased,” “bioplastics,” and “biodegradable,” are also referred, trying to make a distinction that allows to clarify the usual ambiguity that currently underlie them.
Its application in real life, as well as advantages and disadvantages, such as sustainability, recyclability, biodegradability, instability, economic and environmental issues, etc., are indicated.
Luís Eduardo Pimentel Real
Chapter 3. Use of Polymer Materials in Construction
The civil construction sector increasingly uses plastic materials and composites for a wide range of applications, being the second largest plastic application.
The plastic insulation properties, its low weight, good resistance and durability, as well the possibility of recycling, contributes to sustainability in construction. Furthermore, the possibility to use polymeric materials, partially or totally recycled, increase environmental benefits, reducing energy use and carbon dioxide emissions.
In this chapter the use of plastics, virgin and recycled, and polymeric composites in construction is described. The use of biocomposites and the advantages and disadvantages associated with their use are also mentioned, indicating some important applications in the construction.
Luís Eduardo Pimentel Real
Chapter 4. Recycling
The classification of recycling processes and cascading principles for recycling are addressed in this chapter. In the circumstances, the issues related to the quality of recycled plastics, like influencing factors and constraints, as well as normalization for quality assessment, arise naturally.
The entire value chain for plastic waste is described In this chapter, from the collection to the introduction of recycled materials on the market, with an emphasis on intermediate separation methods (wet and dry) and recycling methods and technologies (chemical and mechanical), which are well detailed.
Reprocessing, manufacture of final products, recycling machinery, and some optimization examples are also briefly mentioned.
Luís Eduardo Pimentel Real
Chapter 5. Plastics Statistics: Production, Recycling, and Market Data
Reliable data related to the production and demand of plastic materials, quantities of plastic recycled and of recycled plastic materials used in specific sectors (mainly in construction) is usually difficult to obtain, either nationally or globally, even by carrying out numerous searches in the bibliography of the specialty and resorting to specialized organizations. Moreover, the assessed information is almost always relative to previous years and is not always up to date.
However, assuming as natural these difficulties and some uncertainty in the data, it is important to have some market indicators. So, in this line, Chap. 5 summarizes statistical data on the production capacity of plastics and biobased polymers, quantities of recycled plastic, evolution of waste treatment and type of treatment carried out on post-consumer plastic, referring also economical topics like costs of recycling and prices of recycled plastics.
Luís Eduardo Pimentel Real
Chapter 6. Constraints to the Application of Recycled Plastics
The use of recycled plastic materials in normally demanding construction products is currently hampered by the idea that recycled materials are of low quality, have low durability, and inferior properties than traditional materials, which is not always true.
However, there are still difficulties to overcome with the quality of the recycled plastics and several obstacles that hinder a wider use of recycled plastics in the construction sector, like cost. The main issues on plastic recyclates are lack of stability, presence of impurities, pigments and dyes (colors), additives, mixed plastic and hybrid materials.
Thus, in this chapter, some environmental problems associated with recycling and main difficulties in the recycling of plastics are presented.
Luís Eduardo Pimentel Real
Chapter 7. Recycling of the Main Plastics Used in Construction
This chapter refers to the recycling of the main plastics used in construction, namely polyvinyl chloride, polyurethane, polypropylene, polyethylene, plastic mixtures, and composites. Difficulties and constraints for each type of polymeric material are mentioned, indicating mitigation measures in worst cases.
Illustrative cases of success stories for each type of recycled polymer, of the types mentioned above, are indicated, including projects and initiatives of companies and manufacturers.
Finally, public relevant funded projects, programs, and research studies are mentioned.
Luís Eduardo Pimentel Real
Chapter 8. Final Remarks
This chapter presents the conclusions of the book, referring some topics, like robustness of recycling markets, evolution of quantities of recycled PVC, regulations and waste management policies, relation quality/price of recycled plastics, standardization, potential for the development of recycling technologies, etc.
The main challenges that are expected for the future in the short and medium term are indicated.
Finally, the proposed recommendations and strategic measures to guarantee the success of recycling and encourage the circular economy are classified at different levels, namely economic incentives, management, regulation and legislation, standardization and certification, research and technological development, industrial production, training and dissemination.
Luís Eduardo Pimentel Real
Recycled Materials for Construction Applications
verfasst von
Luís Eduardo Pimentel Real
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