Application of dissolved air flotation on separation of waste plastics ABS and PS

Hui Wang, Xiao-Lei Chen, Yang Bai, Chao Guo, Li Zhang
Waste Management 2012, 32 (7): 1297-305
The aim of this research was to separate waste plastics acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polystyrene (PS) by dissolved air flotation in a self-designed dissolved air flotation apparatus. The effects of wetting agents, frother, conditioning time and flotation time on flotation behavior of waste plastics ABS (w-ABS) and PS (w-PS) were investigated and the optimized separation conditions were obtained. The results showed that when using 25 mgL(-1) tannic acid, 5 mgL(-1) terpineol, 15 min conditioning time and 15 min flotation time, mixtures of w-ABS and w-PS were separated successfully by dissolved air flotation in two stages, the results revealed that the purity and recovery rate of w-PS in the floated products were 90.12% and 97.45%, respectively, and the purity and recovery rate of w-ABS in the depressed products were 97.24% and 89.38%, respectively. Based on the studies of wetting mechanism of plastic flotation, it is found that the electrostatic force and hydrophobic attraction cannot be the main factor of the interaction between wetting agent molecules and plastic particles, which can be completed through water molecules as a mesophase, and a hydrogen bonding adsorption model with hydration shell as a mesophase was proposed.

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