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Systems Analysis Approach to Polyethylene Terephthalate and Olefin Plastics Supply Chains in the Circular Economy: A Review of Data Sets and Models

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  • Utkarsh S. Chaudhari, Yingqian Lin, Vicki S. Thompson, Robert M. Handler, Joshua M. Pearce, Gerard Caneba, Prapti Muhuri, David Watkins, and David R. Shonnard. Systems Analysis Approach to Polyethylene Terephthalate and Olefin Plastics Supply Chains in the Circular Economy: A Review of Data Sets and Models. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 2021. in press. https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c08622



The environmental and economic impacts of implementing a circular economy in plastic waste supply chains are not well understood. The proposed systems analysis framework assesses environmental, social, and economic impacts of plastic waste supply chains in a circular economy. The first objective of this article is to identify data sets, models, and knowledge gaps associated with waste plastic supply chain processes, mainly in the U.S. Our literature review indicated that the best data sets exist for virgin plastic resin production, mechanical recycling, landfilling, and incineration, with the materials recovery facility being intermediate, and with chemical recycling the lowest. The second objective of this perspective is to develop an illustrative application of the framework by conducting a preliminary systems analysis of PET bottles with closed-loop recycling. The preliminary systems analysis of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles utilized a linear programming optimization method. Our optimization model indicated that both chemical and mechanical recycling processes are needed to achieve a true circular economy of PET bottles with the least greenhouse gas emissions, specifically reductions of 24% when compared with the linear economy. Good quality and standardized life cycle assessment and techno-economic analysis studies are needed to better understand the environmental, economic, and social impacts of advanced sorting and chemical recycling technologies.

Keywords[edit | edit source]

    Plastic waste supply chain Circular economy Linear program optimization Mechanical recycling Materials recovery facility Chemical recycling Material flow optimization Systems analysis; Circular economy; Distributed recycling; Polymer recycling; Sustainable development; life cycle analysis; recycling; 

See also[edit source]

RepRapable Recyclebot and the Wild West of Recycling

Recycling Technology[edit source]

Distributed Recycling LCA[edit source]

Literature Reviews[edit source]


Externals[edit source]

  • Cruz, F., Lanza, S., Boudaoud, H., Hoppe, S., & Camargo, M. Polymer Recycling and Additive Manufacturing in an Open Source context: Optimization of processes and methods. [2]
  • Investigating Material Degradation through the Recycling of PLA in Additively Manufactured Parts [3]
  • Mohammed, M.I., Das, A., Gomez-Kervin, E., Wilson, D. and Gibson, I., EcoPrinting: Investigating the use of 100% recycled Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) for Additive Manufacturing. [4]
  • Kariz, M., Sernek, M., Obućina, M. and Kuzman, M.K., 2017. Effect of wood content in FDM filament on properties of 3D printed parts. Materials Today Communications. [5]
  • Kaynak, B., Spoerk, M., Shirole, A., Ziegler, W. and Sapkota, J., 2018. Polypropylene/Cellulose Composites for Material Extrusion Additive Manufacturing. Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, p.1800037. [6]
  • O. Martikka et al., "Mechanical Properties of 3D-Printed Wood-Plastic Composites", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 777, pp. 499-507, 2018 [7]
  • Yang, T.C., 2018. Effect of Extrusion Temperature on the Physico-Mechanical Properties of Unidirectional Wood Fiber-Reinforced Polylactic Acid Composite (WFRPC) Components Using Fused Deposition Modeling. Polymers, 10(9), p.976. [8]

Literature Reviews[edit | edit source]