Selecting chemicals for separation of ABS and HIPS in WEEE by froth flotation






Abstract The feasibility of using common chemicals to separate plastics from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) by froth flotation is investigated. Plastic waste is one of the WEEE polluters and a separation is necessary to recycle it. The most common plastics in electronic industries are acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and high impact polystyrene (HIPS). These plastics are difficult to separate due to the similar specific weights and to both being repellent to water. Froth flotation allows for separating particles by the differences in their surface characteristics by selective wetting agents. The common chemicals are ethanol and acetic acid to depress the plastics. The process with 20% weight of ethanol was able to produce a recovery concentrate of HIPS with 98% and ABS with 96%. The process with 40% weight of acetic acid produces a recovery concentrate of HIPS with 96% and ABS with 83%.

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