Properties of Composites Based on Recycled Polypropylene and Silico-Aluminous Industrial Waste

There is an ever-growing interest in recovering and recycling waste materials due to their hazardous nature to the environment and human health. Recently, especially since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, disposable medical face masks have been a major source of pollution, hence the rise in studies being conducted on how to recover and recycle this waste. At the same time, fly ash, an aluminosilicate waste, is being repurposed in various studies. The general approach to recycling these materials is to process and transform them into novel composites with potential applications in various industries. This work aims to investigate the properties of composites based on silico-aluminous industrial waste (ashes) and recycled polypropylene from disposable medical face masks and to create usefulness for these materials. Polypropylene/ash composites were prepared through melt processing methods, and samples were analyzed to get a general overview of the properties of these composites. Results showed that the polypropylene recycled from face masks used together with silico-aluminous ash can be processed through industrial melt processing methods and that the addition of only 5 wt% ash with a particle size of less than 90 µm, increases the thermal stability and the stiffness of the polypropylene matrix while maintaining its mechanical strength. Further investigations are needed to find specific applications in some industrial fields.

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