Development of amodified analyticalmethodology for the identification of lowmolecular weight compounds in recycled plastics

Author(s): G.Siouta, K.Akrida-Demertzi, P.G.Demertzis

Recycling of plastics is a grown market in the plastics industries over the last years, since it consists of an easy and low cost application to reduce the impact of the increasing usage of plastics and the drawbacks that follow it, like large quantities ofwaste. Themost important problemthat rises is the safety of using recycled plastics in several applications due to the decomposition products or oligomers that might be present after recycling. Present work is focused on developing a method to determine these compounds in recycled polyethylene (PE) using an automated Soxhlet extraction system (Soxtec) combined with gas chromatographymass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. Virgin PE samples were used for method development. Several types of compounds such as n-alkanes, branched alkanes, alkenes and phthalates were detected, indicating that the proposed methodology can be successfully applied for the determination of low molecular weight compounds in various types of recycled plastics packagingmaterials.Agreater number of compounds and mostly at higher concentrations were found in recycled PE samples.

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