Energy-Environment-Economic (3E) Hub for Sustainable Plastic Management – Upgraded Recycling, Chemical Valorization, and Bioplastics

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Raffel Dharma Patria
  • Shazia Rehman
  • Chun-Bong Yuen
  • Arun K. Vuppaladadiyam
  • Shao-Yuan Leu

Related Research Unit(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number122543
Journal / PublicationApplied Energy
Volume357
Online published29 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024

Abstract

This research aims to clarify the energy, environment, and economic (3E) aspects of petroleum-based, bio-based plastics, and all end-of-life methods including landfill, incineration, composting, and recycling. Production and utilization of bio-based plastic, associated with novel chemical upcycling techniques to produce valuable building block chemicals, are considered as long-term solutions to the plastic crisis. However, this target seems to be unachievable in decades mostly due to insufficient information on energy consumption and operational costs of different techniques. Although numerous studies of life cycle analysis (LCA) of bioplastics have been published in literature, the positive/negative energy and environmental impacts of biobased plastics are still uncertain due to the non-standardization of the analyses. To standardize the current findings, this study categorized the latest life cycle studies to correlate the energy requirement, global warming potential, and paramount factors which significantly influence the environmental impact of bioplastics production. In addition, the economic aspects were investigated by calculating and benchmarking the profitability of recycling/upcycling practices of petroleum-plastic waste with traditional landfilling/incineration using the techno-economic assessment method. Lastly, this review also considered both mechanical recycling and chemical upcycling as future solutions to plastic issues. Although recycling/upcycling seems beneficial from energy, environmental, and economic perspectives, some assessments were based on ideal assumptions where efficiency of recycling/upcycling and logistics of plastic waste collection was high. Real-life applications of recycling/upcycling and bio-based plastics are hindered by various challenges. Overcoming these challenges may be the key to creating sustainable circular bioeconomy of plastics. © 2024 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Carbon neutrality, Waste management, Plastic-to-energy, Life-cycle assessment, Techno-economic assessment

Citation Format(s)

Energy-Environment-Economic (3E) Hub for Sustainable Plastic Management – Upgraded Recycling, Chemical Valorization, and Bioplastics. / Patria, Raffel Dharma; Rehman, Shazia; Yuen, Chun-Bong et al.
In: Applied Energy, Vol. 357, 122543, 01.03.2024.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review