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Shape memory polymers fabricated with recycled thermoplastics by 3D printing

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Shape Memory Polymers (SMPs) are smart polyurethane thermoplastics that can recover their original shape after undergoing deformation. This shape recovery can be actuated by raising the SMP above its glass transition temperature, Tg. This report outlines a process for repeatedly

Shape Memory Polymers (SMPs) are smart polyurethane thermoplastics that can recover their original shape after undergoing deformation. This shape recovery can be actuated by raising the SMP above its glass transition temperature, Tg. This report outlines a process for repeatedly recycling SMPs using 3D printing. Cubes are printed, broken down into pellets mechanically, and re-extruded into filament. This simulates a recycling iteration that the material would undergo in industry. The samples are recycled 0, 1, 3, and 5 times, then printed into rectangular and dog-bone shapes. These shapes are used to perform dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and 3-point bending for shape recovery testing. Samples will also be used for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to characterize their microstructure.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Circular Packaging Business Proposal for Isagenix International

Description

This proposal lays out the business case for Isagenix International to adopt circular packaging that is compatible with the circular economy. I first give a brief background on plastic packaging and the environmental risks that go along with it. After

This proposal lays out the business case for Isagenix International to adopt circular packaging that is compatible with the circular economy. I first give a brief background on plastic packaging and the environmental risks that go along with it. After explaining how a linear economy is unsustainable, I introduce the concept of a circular economy. I then explain the competitive advantages that Isagenix can gain over its competitors from pursuing circular or sustainable packaging, and provide a benchmarking analysis of other companies’ sustainable packaging goals. After establishing the reasons that Isagenix should pursue this initiative, I go into an explanation of how Isagenix should design packaging for circularity and educate consumers on how to recycle their packaging products. Lastly, I propose my three recommendations for action that Isagenix should start with to begin transitioning all of their packaging to be circular.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Achieving Zero: Building a Zero Waste Program for the Sprouts Farmers Market Headquarters

Description

As the sustainability issue of solid waste management magnifies worldwide, organizations are considering making their offices or operations Zero Waste, but many do not understand how or where to start. With the goal of contributing insights and advice to future

As the sustainability issue of solid waste management magnifies worldwide, organizations are considering making their offices or operations Zero Waste, but many do not understand how or where to start. With the goal of contributing insights and advice to future designers and managers of Zero Waste programs, this thesis explores notable attributes of existing Zero Waste programs through case interviews and documents the researcher’s own journey in designing and executing a Zero Waste program at the Sprouts Farmers Market headquarters. The result is a detailed account that reveals how the Sprouts program was executed, how it could be improved, and which practices future Zero Waste program managers should use to maximize the success of their program. These practices include building personal and trusting relationships with the network of people involved; remaining flexible, patient and passionate; conducting thorough quantitative research on the proposed changes; and tailoring communication to effectively motivate behavior change.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Tossing Out the Waste: An Exploration of Sustainable Solutions for an Arizona Restaurant

Description

The goal of this project is to gain and use knowledge of sustainability topics as a value-adding function for a business in the Tempe, AZ area and to develop the skills to approach and consult with business owners and staff

The goal of this project is to gain and use knowledge of sustainability topics as a value-adding function for a business in the Tempe, AZ area and to develop the skills to approach and consult with business owners and staff about sustainable business options. Sustainability searches for a balance between society, economy and the environment where all three can thrive; therefore, the ideal project partner was a business that values the wellbeing of mankind, is locally owned and operated and promotes environmental stewardship. The Original Chop Shop Co in Tempe Arizona was appropriately selected. Throughout the duration of our partnership, I observed their daily routine, interviewed employees and managers and used the collected information to identify three areas of focus that have the largest potential to reduce The Original Chop Shop Company's impact on the environment. Information on the areas of recycling, composting, and food sourcing was researched and synthesized to make suggestions for ecofriendly changes to business practices. The scope of the project includes small changes in daily practices such as implementing a recycling and composting program and employee training sessions and minor investments such as purchasing a micro washer and silverware in order to eliminate nonrenewable plastic utensils. The scope does not include major renovations or investments in technology. The suggestions offered position The Original Chop Shop to conduct business in a way that does not compromise the health of the environment, society, or economy.

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Date Created
2015-05

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The Issue of Small Format Recycling and a Possible Solution

Description

Currently, recycling is a major issue found throughout the world; however, one of the main issues, small format recycling, is still yet to be solved. The main objective of this paper is to discuss the issues surrounding recycling in

Currently, recycling is a major issue found throughout the world; however, one of the main issues, small format recycling, is still yet to be solved. The main objective of this paper is to discuss the issues surrounding recycling in general and more specifically small format recycling in order to develop a solution that can solve the problem. Working with InnovationSpace and people in industry, interviews were conducted in order to determine the best course of action to address the need of the sponsor, The Sustainability Consortium. After extensive research and interviews, it was determined that implementing a new MRF attachment to circulate small format back to the main residual stream would be the best course of action. This attachment would be modular for a MRF and could be implemented in order to gather more material while also producing higher quality recycled goods. This has major implications for the recycling industry and could help in making recycling profitable once again.

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Date Created
2021-05

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Circulearning: Ethical Circular Economy Education

Description

Though about 75 percent of American waste is recyclable, only 30 percent of it is actually recycled and less than ten percent of plastics disposed of in the United States in 2015 were recycled. A statistic like this demonstrates the

Though about 75 percent of American waste is recyclable, only 30 percent of it is actually recycled and less than ten percent of plastics disposed of in the United States in 2015 were recycled. A statistic like this demonstrates the immense need to increase recycling rates in order to move towards cultivating a circular economy and benefiting the environment. With Arizona State University’s (ASU) extensive population of on-campus students and faculty, our team was determined to create a solution that would increase recycling rates. After conducting initial market research, our team incentives or education. We conducted market research through student surveys to determine the level of knowledge of our target audience and barriers to entry for local recycling and composting resources. Further, we gained insight into the medium of recycling and sustainability programs they would be interested in participating in. Overall, the results of our surveys demonstrated that a majority of students were interested in participating in these programs, if they were not already involved, and most students on-campus already had access to these resources. Despite having access to these sustainable practices, we identified a knowledge gap between students and their information on how to properly execute sustainable practices such as composting and recycling. In order to address this audience, our team created Circulearning, an educational program that aims to bridge the gap of knowledge and address immediate concerns regarding circular economy topics. By engaging audiences through our quick, accessible educational modules and teaching them about circular practices, we aim to inspire everyone to implement these practices into their own lives. Though our team began the initiative with a focus on implementing these practices solely to ASU campus, we decided to expand our target audience to implement educational programs at all levels after discovering the interest and need for this resource in our community. Our team is extremely excited that our Circulearning educational modules have been shared with a broad audience including students at Mesa Skyline High School, ASU students, and additional connections outside of ASU. With Circulearning, we will educate and inspire people of all ages to live more sustainably and better the environment in which we live.

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Date Created
2021-05

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Silver Recovery from Silver Fluoride Solution for Solar Module Recycling

Description

As Energy needs grow and photovoltaics expand to meet humanity’s demand for electricity, waste modules will start building up. Tao et. al. propose a recycling process to recover all precious solar cell materials, a process estimated to generate a potential

As Energy needs grow and photovoltaics expand to meet humanity’s demand for electricity, waste modules will start building up. Tao et. al. propose a recycling process to recover all precious solar cell materials, a process estimated to generate a potential $15 billion in revenue by 2050. A key part of this process is metal recovery, and specifically, silver recovery. Silver recovery via electrowinning was studied using a hydrofluoric acid leachate/electrolyte. Bulk electrolysis trials were performed at varied voltages using a silver working electrode, silver pseudo-reference electrode and a graphite counter-electrode. The highest mass recovery achieved was 98.8% which occurred at 0.65 volts. Product purity was below 90% for all trials and coulombic efficiency never reached above 20%. The average energy consumption per gram of reduced silver was 2.16kWh/kg. Bulk electrolysis indicates that parasitic reactions are drawing power from the potentiostat and limiting the mass recovery of the system. In order to develop this process to the practical use stage, parasitic reactions must be eliminated, and product purity and power efficiency must improve. The system should be run in a vacuum environment and the reduction peaks in the cell should be characterized using cyclic voltammetry.

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Date Created
2020-12

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Scalability Analysis of Recycling Markets for NdFeB Magnets in the United States

Description

Over the past decades, rare earth elements (REE) have become a crucial backbone to the functioning of modern technology infrastructure, particularly due to their inclusion within NdFeB magnets which power technologies such as hard disk drives and wind turbines. However,

Over the past decades, rare earth elements (REE) have become a crucial backbone to the functioning of modern technology infrastructure, particularly due to their inclusion within NdFeB magnets which power technologies such as hard disk drives and wind turbines. However, mining and extraction of REEs pose significant environmental and human health risks, thus signaling a need for more sustainable methods of sourcing. This research aims to compare the impact and effectiveness of three recycling processes for decommissioned NdFeB magnets sourced from end-of-life wind turbines, as well as consider strategies for developing these processes on an industrial scale. A material flow analysis (MFA) has been conducted to determine comparable input and output factors for two types of laboratory-scale recycling methods, molten salt electrolysis and hydrometallurgy, and one industrial-scale method, magnet-to-magnet. Following this, an impact analysis of potential industrial level magnet recycling operations for molten salt electrolysis and hydrometallurgy was conducted. The results show that molten salt electrolysis had the highest levels of impact for global warming, ozone depletion, and energy usage of the three methods when scaled on an industrial level. Hydrometallurgy had relatively low energy usage and emissions impacts but required large amounts of water and produced high levels of wastewater. The magnet-to-magnet process showed promising impact results in comparison with the alternate two methods, but further development needs to be done to circumvent the continued use of virgin REE in the final production steps for novel magnets. Overall, it is recommended that locations of recycling operations should be pursued for each process relative to energy and water usage needs, as well as transportation distance from wind farms.

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Date Created
2020-12

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Waste Management and Equipment Design of Recycling Solar Cells

Description

In Professor Meng Tao and Wen-His Huang's paper's [1,2] the recycling process to create a sustainable Photovoltaic (PV) industry is laid out. The process utilized to recycle the materials requires the use of three semi-problematic chemicals including: Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH),

In Professor Meng Tao and Wen-His Huang's paper's [1,2] the recycling process to create a sustainable Photovoltaic (PV) industry is laid out. The process utilized to recycle the materials requires the use of three semi-problematic chemicals including: Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH), Nitric Acid (HNO3), and Hydrofluoric Acid (HF). By utilizing a combination of reverse osmosis filtration, pre-lime treatment, neutralization by combination, and mineral specific filtering the chemicals can either by recycled as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standardized waste water or profitable byproducts such as Sodium Nitrate (NaNO3). For the recycling of hydrofluoric acid, a combination of pre-lime coagulation, microfiltration and a spiral wound reverse osmosis (RO) system, less than 1mg/L in line with national standards for human consumption. The sodium hydroxide and nitric acid recycling process handles more contaminants that just the byproduct of the chemicals and manages this through a combination of multi-stage flash/vapor distillation along with a reverse osmosis filtration system. By utilizing both systems of recycling, a completely closed loop system for recycling silicon solar cells is laid out and creates a new standard for clean energy management.

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Date Created
2016-12

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Mechanical Properties of Recycled 3D Print Filament

Description

Filament used in 3D printers can vary by size, color, and material. Most commonly thermoplastics are used for rapid prototyping by industry. Recycled filament has the potential to reduce cost and provide a more sustainable and energy efficient approach to

Filament used in 3D printers can vary by size, color, and material. Most commonly thermoplastics are used for rapid prototyping by industry. Recycled filament has the potential to reduce cost and provide a more sustainable and energy efficient approach to 3D printing. This can be a viable option if recycled parts show comparable mechanical characteristics to non-recycled material. This report focuses on the development of a methodology to efficiently characterize recycled filament for application in industry. A crush sample in the shape of a hollow cube and a dog-bone shaped specimen will be created using a filament extruder and 3D printer. The crush sample will be broken and extruded to produce a recycled filament. The crush sample will undergo a varying number of recycles (i.e. breakings) per sample group to simulate mechanical degradation; 0, 1, 2, and 5 recycling loops. The samples will undergo micro mechanical (microscopy analysis) and macro mechanical (tensile) characterization.

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Date Created
2016-12