Process and machinery design for the recycling of tetra pak components


JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION, vol.323, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 323
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.129186
  • Keywords: Tetra pak, Composite packaging, Aluminum, Polyethylene, Recycling, Recovery, POLYETHYLENE, ALUMINUM, PYROLYSIS, COMPOSITE, SYSTEM


In this study, we studied the composite packages known as tetra pak, which is mainly paper-carton, widely used in the world today, and has significant deficiencies in terms of recycling. This work focuses on the separate recovery of the materials (paper, aluminum and polyethylene) in the composition of waste tetra pak cartons. In the first studies, 13 different solvents were used. The dissolution of PE in the solvent was investigated, and then the paper in the Al and paper mixture was removed by hydropulping. The best yield in PE dissolution was achieved using trichloroethylene, xylene, benzene, toluene, trichloroethylene: water (50:50, v/v), trichloroethylene: water (30:70, v/v) and benzene: trichloroethylene (50:50, v/v). There has been more study that happened with solvents used, with using temperatures below the boiling point, but no superior efficiency was achieved. It was observed that, when worked at the boiling points of trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene, the dissolution happens 4 min earlier, and the temperature plays a vital role in the separation process. However, it was observed that, when used hydropulping, the papers were quickly recovered; also, the rest of the Al was recovered, and when the acetic acid solution was used, the paper pulping time was shortened. It was determined that the use of 1 M acetic acid solution reduced the waiting time by 47% compared to the water use and that the use of 5 M acetic acid solution decreased the waiting time by 80% compared to the water use.