Analytical case study on a dedicated pigment in recycling processes of polyethylene
The ability to track & trace materials is a key feature in the entire chain, and it ensures circularity principles. Examples from plastic recycling show the enormous added value that analytical technology can have for the circular economy. During polymer production and recycling processes, pigments can be added for different purposes; e.g. as colouring agent of the polymeric product but also as tracer for tracking process development and control in the final recycle products versus possible by-products. An analytical method for tracking the pigment Solvent Blue 15 in input materials, in intermediates as well as in recyclates was developed by tracing and quantifying an indicator metal which is copper (Cu). Therefore, suitable digestion procedures and a quantification method by high resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HR-ICP-MS) were developed and used for measuring the polymeric digests. The method was tested on relevant samples from chemical recycling processes. The background concentrations in base/raw material are in the range of 0.05 - 0.1 mg∙kg−1 Cu. The processing concentrations are in the range of 4.2 to 28 mg∙kg−1 Cu, while the pigment starting material (polyethylene, PE) has a concentration of around 50 mg∙kg−1 Cu.
To reference this document use:
Pigment Solvent Blue
Track & Trace
High Resolution Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (HR-ICPMS)
Environment & Sustainability
Advances in Chemical Engineering and Science, 10 (10), 181-189