Processing and recycling of polymers

NAME OF THE COURSE Processing and recycling of polymers



Year of study


Course teacher

Prof Matko Erceg

Credits (ECTS)


Associate teachers

Type of instruction (number of hours)






Status of the course


Percentage of application of e-learning

0 %


Course objectives

- Understanding the modern polymer processing procedures
- Understanding the modern methods of polymer waste recovery
- The application of acquired knowledge in finding optimal solutions in the processing and recycling of polymers

Course enrolment requirements and entry competences required for the course


Learning outcomes expected at the level of the course (4 to 10 learning outcomes)

After passing the exam the student is expected to:
- understand the properties and behavior of the polymer during processing and application
- explain the importance of polymer additives
- describe the main polymer processing procedures
- identify and classify components of plastic waste
- differentiate between material and energy recovery of polymer waste
- select the optimal methods of waste recovery
- conclude on the importance of polymers in modern society

Course content broken down in detail by weekly class schedule (syllabus)

1st week: types of polymers. Polymer processing properties (thermal properties).
2nd week: polymer processing properties - continued (mechanical properties, rheology).
3rd week: additives for polymers.
4th week: primary shaping procedures: continuous (extrusion, calendering and coating).
5th week: primary shaping procedures: discontinuous (compression moulding, transfer moulding, injection moulding, casting, sintering).
6th week: secondary shaping procedures: warm and cold secondary shaping, blowing, drawing, shrinkage. Bonding, welding.
7th week: surface improvement of plastics. Production of foamy and reinforced polymer products. Environmental impacts of plastic production stage.
8th week: continuous assessment (the first colloquium). Global consumption of polymers and environmental impacts of plastic products using stage. Polymers and sustainable development.
9th week: labeling polymer products. Types of plastic waste. Homogeneous and heterogeneous plastic waste. Compatibility of polymers.
10th week: sorting procedures (plastic from other waste, plastic-plastic separation).
11th week: size reduction of plastic waste. Mechanical recycling. Primary and secondary recycling of plastic waste.
12th week: recycling of homogeneous and heterogeneous plastic waste. Chemical recycling. Solvent recycling.
13th week: energy recovery. Biodegradation. Behavior of plastic waste in the landfill and compost. Environmental impacts of the plastic recycling.
14th week: LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) method.
15th week: final comments, discussion, conclusions. Continuous assessment (the second colloquium).
Laboratory exercises :
Exercise 1. Manual sorting of plastic packaging waste.
Exercise 2. Sorting of plastic waste by float-sink method .
Exercise 3. Sorting of plastic waste by infrared spectroscopy .
Exercise 4. Effect of repeated recycling the thermal properties of polymers.
Exercise 5. Chemical recycling of poly (ethylene terephthalate).
Exercise 6. Separation and identification of additives in polymeric material.
Field work: visit to factories AD Plastik Inc., Solin and Fornix Ltd. , Dugi Rat

Format of instruction:

Student responsibilities

Attending lectures in the 80% amount, and laboratory exercises in the 100% amount of the total number of lessons.

Screening student work (name the proportion of ECTS credits for eachactivity so that the total number of ECTS credits is equal to the ECTS value of the course):

Class attendance




Practical training


Experimental work







Seminar essay





Oral exam




Written exam






Grading and evaluating student work in class and at the final exam

Continuous evaluation:
The entire exam can be passed over two colloquium during the semester. Pass threshold for each colloquium is 50%. Each colloquium participates with 35% in a final grade. Laboratory exercises (50-100% success) participate with 20% in a final grade, while attending lectures in 80-100% amount is 10% of a final grade.
Final evaluation:
One passed colloquium (previous activity) is recognized as 10% of a final grade. The remaining part is taken on written and oral exam at prescribed examination terms. Written exam accounts for 30%, oral exam for 40%, while laboratory exercises account for 20% of a final grade, respectively.
Students who did not take or pass colloquiums take written and oral exam at prescribed examination terms. Passing threshold is 50%. Written exam accounts for 40%, oral exam for 40%, while laboratory exercises account for 20% of a final grade, respectively.
Grades definitions and percentages: sufficient (50-61%), good (62-74%), very good (75-87%), excellent (88-100%).

Required literature (available in the library and via other media)


Number of copies in the library

Availability via other media

A. Rogić, I. Čatić, D. Godec, Polimeri i polimerne tvorevine, Društvo za plastiku i gumu, Zagreb, 2008.


Web stranice KTF-a

A. Azapagic, A. Emsley, I. Hamerton, Polymers, The Environment and Sustainable Development, Wiley, 2003.


M. Šercer, D. Opsenica, G. Barić, Oporaba plastike i gume, mtg topograf d.o.o., Zagreb, 2000.


J. Scheirs, Polymer Recycling: Science, Technology and Applications, John Wiley&Sons, Chichester, 1998.


Optional literature (at the time of submission of study programme proposal)

I. Čatić, F. Johannaber, Injekcijsko prešanje polimera i ostalih materijala, Društvo za plastiku i gumu, Zagreb, 2004.
H. F. Gilles, Jr., J. R. Wagner, Jr., E. M. Mount, III., Extrusion: The Definitive Processing Guide and Handbook, William Andrew, Inc., New York, 2005.
L. Lundquist, Y. Leterrier, P. Sunderland, J.E. Manson, Life Cycle Engineering of Plastics, Elsevier, Oxford, 2000.
A. L. Andrady, Plastics and the Environment, Wiley-Interscience 2003.
Z. Janović, Polimerizacije i polimeri, Hrvatsko društvo kemijskih inženjera i tehnologa, Zagreb, 1997.

Quality assurance methods that ensure the acquisition of exit competences

- monitoring of students suggestions and reactions during semester
- students evaluation organized by University

Other (as the proposer wishes to add)