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Process for recycling articles based on a fiber reinforced polymer

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Класс C08J11/04 полимеров

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Классы МПК:C08J11/04 полимеров
Автор(ы): Van Weynbergh, Jacques (Brussels, BE)
Noel, Stephane (Rixensart, BE)
Патентообладатель(и): Solvay S.A. (Brussels, BE)
Приоритеты:
подача заявки
07.05.2009
публикация патента
16.04.2013

РЕФЕРАТ (Abstract)

Process for recycling a fiber reinforced polymer article, according to which the article, eventually cut in fragments, is dissolved in a solvent capable of dissolving the polymer but not the fibers and which is susceptible of forming an azeotrope with water, forming a solution; the fibers are recovered from the solution; the fibers are washed with solvent by putting them in the form of a slurry in the solvent and by agitating the slurry and/or by making the solvent circulate through it; the washed fibers are recovered from the slurry; and the recovered fibers are submitted to a stripping with steam in order to substantially remove the solvent.
Полный текст Патента US 8420702 + PDF


ФОРМУЛА ИЗОБРЕТЕНИЯ (CLAIMS)

The invention claimed is:

1. A process for recycling a fiber reinforced polymer article, comprising: the article, optionally cut in fragments, is dissolved in a solvent capable of dissolving the polymer but not the fibers and wherein the solvent forms an azeotrope with water, forming a solution; the fibers are recovered from the solution; the fibers are washed with a solvent by putting the fibers in the form of a slurry in the washing solvent and by agitating the slurry, by making the washing solvent circulate through the slurry or both agitating the slurry and making solvent circulate through the slurry, wherein the washing by slurry substantially removes the polymer from the fibers and prevents the fibers from sticking together; the washed fibers are recovered from the slurry; and the recovered fibers are submitted to a stripping with steam in order to substantially remove the washing solvent.

2. The process according to claim 1, wherein the solvent used for dissolving the article and the solvent used for the washing of the fibers are the same.

3. The process according to claim 1, wherein the polymer is a vinyl chloride polymer, and wherein the solvent used both for dissolving the article and for the washing of the fibers comprises between 2% and 8% by weight of alcohol, between 13% and 17% of a phase separation agent, and between 4% and 6% of water, the remainder being methyl ethyl ketone.

4. The process according to claim 1, wherein the dissolution takes place in a dissolver-filter in which a screen is incorporated into the dissolver as a bottom filtration plate, so that at the end of the dissolution step, the polymer solution is discharged through the plate to be treated separately while the fibers and all other insolubles remain inside the dissolver to be further treated therein.

5. The process according to claim 1, wherein the dissolution takes place in a rotating tumbler containing a cylindrical perforated basket, so that at the end of the dissolution step, the polymer solution is discharged through the perforated basket to be treated separately while the fibers and all other insolubles remain inside the basket to be further treated inside the basket and tumbler.

6. The process according to claim 1, wherein the fibers are washed at least twice before steam stripping them.

7. The process according to claim 6, wherein the solvent resulting from each washing step is stored in a buffer tank and re-used in a subsequent batch for washing, dissolving or washing and dissolving.

8. The process according to claim 1, wherein after having been washed with solvent and before being steam stripped, the fibers are washed with water so as to precipitate residual polymer onto the fibers.

9. The process according to claim 4, wherein after the washing step, the fibers are retained on the bottom filtration plate of the dissolver-filter, and wherein the steam stripping step occurs while the fibers are still retained on the bottom filtration plate, by blowing steam therein.

10. The process according to claim 5, wherein after the washing step, the fibers are retained inside the cylindrical perforated basket of the rotating tumbler, and wherein the steam stripping step occurs while the fibers are still retained inside the cylindrical perforated basket, by blowing steam therein.

11. A process for recycling a fiber reinforced polymer article, the article comprising: a polymer; and reinforcement fibers; the process comprising: optionally, cutting the article in fragments; in a reactor capable of retaining a solid material from a liquid slurry, dissolving the polymer in a solvent not capable of dissolving the fibers to obtain a slurry of the fibers in a solvent solution of the polymer; removing the solvent solution of the polymer from the fibers and from the reactor to obtain the fibers wet with the solvent solution retained in the reactor; washing the wet fibers retained in the reactor with a wash solvent not capable of dissolving the fibers to remove the solvent solution of the polymer from the fibers and from the reactor and to obtain washed fibers comprising residual wash solvent retained in the reactor; stripping the washed fibers retained in the reactor of the residual wash solvent with steam to obtain recovered fibers substantially free of the wash solvent; and discharging the recovered fibers from the reactor; wherein the dissolution solvent and the wash solvent each form an azeotrope with water, and washing the wet fibers comprises: slurrying the wet fibers in the washing solvent agitating the slurry; or circulating the washing solvent through the slurry; or both agitating the slurry and circulating the wash solvent through the slurry; removing the wash solvent from the slurry to obtain the washed fibers.

12. The process according to claim 11, wherein the polymer dissolution solvent and the wash solvent comprise the same chemical composition.

13. The process according to claim 11, wherein the polymer is a vinyl chloride polymer, and the dissolution solvent and the wash solvent comprise: 2% to 8% by weight of alcohol, 13% to 17% of a phase separation agent, 4% to 6% of water, and methyl ethyl ketone.

14. The process according to claim 11, wherein the reactor is a dissolver-filter which comprises: a screen incorporated into the dissolver as a bottom filtration plate, and the process further comprises at the end of the dissolution: discharging the polymer solution through the bottom filtration plate while retaining the fibers and other materials insoluble in the solvent inside the dissolver.

15. The process according to claim 11, wherein the reactor is a rotating tumbler which comprises: a cylindrical perforated basket, and the process further comprises at the end of the dissolution: discharging the polymer solution through the perforated basket while retaining the fibers and other materials insoluble in the solvent inside the basket.


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