Technological watch

Recycling of Post-Use Bioprocessing Plastic Containers—Mechanical Recycling Technical Feasibility

Most of the plastic-based solutions used in bio-manufacturing are today incinerated after use, even the not “bio-contaminated”. Bioprocessing bags used for media and buffer preparation and storage represent the largest amount today. The aim of this work was to technically assess the feasibility of the mechanical recycling of bioprocessing bags. Materials from different sorting and recycling strategies have been characterized, for their suitability of further use. Quantitative physical and mechanical tests and analysis (FTIR, DSC, TGA, density, MFI, color, tensile, flexural, and Charpy choc) were performed. The data show that these recycled plastics could be oriented towards second use requiring physical properties similar to equivalent virgin materials. A comparative life cycle assessment, based on a theoretical framework, shows that mechanical recycling for end of life presents the advantage of keeping material in the loop, without showing a significant statistical difference compared to incineration with regards to the climate change indicator.

Publication date: 23/11/2022

Author: Duc-Nam Luu

Reference: doi: 10.3390/su142315557

MDPI (sustainability)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.