Recycling of polypropylene by supercritical carbon dioxide for extraction of contaminants from beverage cups: a comparison with polyethylene terephthalate and polylactic acid

Srishti Singh, Joel Pereira, Teresa Brandão, Ana Leite Oliveira, Fátima Poças*

*Autor correspondente para este trabalho

Resultado de pesquisarevisão de pares

2 Citações (Scopus)

Resumo

BACKGROUND: EU policies towards a circular economy address plastic packaging as one of the significant concerns and sets ambitious recycling targets. Polyolefins (POs) cannot be recycled for food contact using conventional polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling approaches. Thermal degradation prevents the use of high temperatures and, consequently, decontamination of POs may be insufficient when using lower temperatures. Polypropylene (PP) beverage cups were decontaminated using supercritical fluid extraction with carbon dioxide (scCO2). Decontamination efficiencies (DEs) of selected markers were determined in challenge tests following European Food Safety Authority guidelines. The effects of time (10–60 min) for PET, polylactic acid (PLA), and PP and temperature (60–80 °C) for PP were studied at constant pressure. The physical properties, sensorial properties, and overall migration of treated scCO2 PP were analysed and compared with virgin PP. RESULTS: PP showed the highest average DE, and PET the lowest, for all the surrogates and in all time conditions. A relative increase in the DE with the increase in process time, particularly for PET and to some extent for PLA, was seen. For PP, no significant impact of time and temperature was observed under the conditions tested. The DE of volatile surrogates was higher than that of semi-volatiles. Results indicate that the scCO2 treatment did not affect the physical and sensorial properties, nor the overall migration of PP, although it contributes to a considerable reduction in extractable n < C24 alkanes. CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that scCO2 can be used to decontaminate post-consumption PP beverage cups with higher DEs than those for PET and PLA, applying mild processing conditions.

Idioma originalEnglish
Páginas (de-até)1127-1138
Número de páginas12
RevistaJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Volume103
Número de emissão3
DOIs
Estado da publicaçãoPublicado - fev. 2023

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