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Theoretical and experimental study on the triboelectric separation of ternary plastics combination using fluidized bed


Triboelectric separation is an efficiency and promising method to recycle waste plastics. Fluidized bed has been proved an optimal tribocharger with excellent bipolar charging performance for binary granules. In this work, the tribo-charging characteristics of PE, PP, PET and PVC granules during fluidization were investigated using a bench-scale fluidized bed. The results showed that the triboelectric series obtained by fluidization charging was: (−)-PVC–PET–PP–PE-(+). The study of fluidization tribo-charge rate of plastics showed that the fluidization charge rate of five binary granule combinations was PE–PVC > PP–PVC > PE–PET > PP–PET > PET–PVC. And the saturated charge-to-mass ratio of five combinations shared the same trend with the tribo-charging rate. In addition, the tribo-charging and the separation characteristics of the ternary granules, namely PP, PET, and PVC were analyzed, and the results showed that PP plastics were mainly distributed near the negative plate, while PET and PVC were close to the positive one.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China 51674257, China Postdoctoral Science Foundation 2019M653067 and Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province 2020A1515010921. The authors would like to thank Advanced Analysis and Computation Center of China University of Mining and Technology for their technical support.

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Correspondence to Haifeng Wang.

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Shi, J., Zhao, X., Zhang, Z. et al. Theoretical and experimental study on the triboelectric separation of ternary plastics combination using fluidized bed. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag 23, 2297–2306 (2021).

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  • Plastic granules
  • Charge rate
  • Fluidization characteristics
  • Charge-to-mass ratio