The anti-Covid masks, from the surgical ones to the ffp2, have upset many details of everyday life, including the disposal of garbage.
From the University of Delft in the Netherlands, thanks also to the engineer from Piacenza Federico Consonni, here is an innovative project to recycle them in a sustainable way. “The elements that make up these individual safety devices could be reused to produce plastic objects, through existing machinery to be exploited to the maximum,” explains the 29-year-old, who is attending a professional doctorate in the Netherlands. “The idea, applicable in Holland, Italy or anywhere in the world – adds the young man – would require the widespread diffusion of containers for the separate collection of masks, in hospitals, schools and public spaces”.
“The process conceived – explains Consonni, a graduate in chemical engineering at the Polytechnic – provides for an initial quarantine of the masks in a warehouse to ensure the deactivation of the virus, after which their crushing into small flakes and the mechanical separation of the components of the polypropylene fabric. The fragments are then extruded to create the pellet, which can be sold to manufacturers of plastic containers, bins, cable insulators, packaging and more. The discarded flakes, on the other hand, become elements of aluminum and iron to be recycled as scrap metal “. The project – for now, only theoretical – was developed by a group of engineers of different nationalities, such as Portugal, Turkey, Italy and Pakistan, with experiences ranging from chemistry to energy, up to mechanics.
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