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129th General Meeting of Korean Chemical Society & Exposition Analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds Produced in Non-degradable and Biodegradable Plastics during Incineration

Submission Date :
2 / 16 / 2022 , 10 : 08 : 02
Abstract Number :
129021630628
Presenting Type:
Poster Presentation Analytical Chemistry Oral Presentation
Presenting Area :
Analytical Chemistry
Authors :
Min Jang, Hyemin Yang, Jeyoung Park1,*
Center for Bio-based Chemistry, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, Korea
1Center for Biochemistry, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, Korea
Assigned Code :
ANAL.P-352 Assigend Code Guideline
Presenting Time :
April 14 (THU) 11:00~13:00
The conventional plastics undoubtedly flourished our lives and society. However, disposal of the non-degradable accumulated plastics became globally serious environmental problems. As an alternative, incineration of them are still being carried out to dispose them, but it may cause toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emission. In order to solve the problems, biodegradable plastics have been developed and started to be commercialized recently. Nevertheless, biodegradable plastics are still discarded indiscreetly and mixed with the conventional non-degradable plastics due to lack of policy and limited market share, thus they can be incinerated together. Previously, studies regarding VOCs from polymers had rarely explored the level of toxicants during the combustion process. This study, for the first time, aims qualitative and quantitative analysis on VOCs emitted from both non-degradable and biodegradable plastics during combustion using gas chromatography mass spectrometry. As a result, the levels of VOCs in non-degradable poly(vinyl chloride) and poly(ethylene terephthalate) were approximately >100 times higher than biodegradable polyhydroxyalkanoate and poly(lactic acid). Interestingly, 1,3-butadiene accounts for the highest concentration among VOCs in both non-degradable and biodegradable plastics owing to the presence of butylene repeating unit. Exemplary case of gas barrier films for food packaging purpose, non-degradable aluminum-coated multi-layered film emits more of VOCs rather than biodegradable nanocellulose/nanochitin-coated film. Nevertheless, incineration of biodegradable plastics cannot be an ultimate solution because VOCs are still emitted when incompletely combusted. This study encourages the necessities of research on more diverse combustion conditions for various plastics and related discussion on the fate of discarded plastics.