Metals in recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) were analyzed by ICP-MS following microwave digestion with nitric acid. Physically and superclean-like recycled PET contained both Ge and Sb, and sometimes contained Co, P or Si. In contrast, the chemically recycled PET contained only Ge or Sb, and some samples contained Co. The recycled PETs did not contain Pb or Cd. Ge and Sb were catalysts of the polymerization, and the other metals also originated from the PET resin as additives. It was concluded that there is no safety concern about metals in recycled PET. It became clear that the presence of both Ge and Sb could identify products formed using physically or superclean-like recycled PET. According to this discrimination method, about half of the sheet molding products used recycled PET.
- Chemical recycling
- Discrimination method
- Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS)
- Physical recycling
- Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
- Super-clean recycling
ASJC Scopus subject areas