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Use of recycled polypropylene in the development of lamellar blends with EVOH: a strategy for use in contact with food

Grant number: 21/04309-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2021
Effective date (End): October 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal researcher:Sandra Andrea Cruz
Grantee:Lucas Henrique Staffa
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07296-2 - CDMF - Center for the Development of Functional Materials, AP.CEPID

Abstract

The growing use of commodities polymers for use in packaging with quick disposal and low biodegradability is responsible for a scenario of increasing waste generation. International regulatory agencies already predict the use of recycled plastic materials in packaging will become increasingly imperative, which will require reuse and recycling needs, greater quality purity control, and polymer barrier properties, in addition to a strong promotion of more sustainable packaging. The use of recycled plastic materials as packaging for contact with food is no trivial given the possible migration process of contaminants from the recycled polymer to food, contaminating it. Internation regulatory agencies standardized processes of forced contamination with contaminant cocktails to simulate the use of a recycled polymer (worst case) with subsequent migration test of the contaminants to a food simulant. In this context, this project aims to develop a polymeric mixture of "recycled" polyolefin matrix with an ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer as a dispersed phase. By means of the application of an elongational flow, the objective is to deform the dispersed phases forming lamellae, which generates a more tortuous path for the migration of contaminant molecules. In addition, for surface protection, it is intended to perform a deposition of a functional barrier by plasma, contributing to and increase in the bulk barrier promoted by lamellar morphology. Finally, the influence of the formed morphology against the migration of contaminants will be verified by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectroscopy in a food simulant. This project aims to develop a "recycled" material for use in contact with food and a new alternative more sustainable than the packages usually manufactured from co-extrusion or lamination since they usually use layers of adhesives that can impair their recyclability. (AU)

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