The combustion process of virgin and reprocessed polylactide (PLA) was simulated by multi-rate linear non-isothermal thermogravimetric experiments under O2. A complete methodology that accounted on the thermal stability and emission of gases was thoroughly developed. A new model, Thermal Decomposition Behavior, and novel parameters, the Zero-Decomposition Temperatures, were used to test the thermal stability of the materials under any linear heating rate. The release of gases was monitored by Evolved Gas Analysis with in-line FT-IR analysis. In addition, a kinetic analysis methodology that accounted for variable activation parameters showed that the decomposition process could be driven by the formation of bubbles in the melt. It was found that the combustion technologies for virgin PLA could be transferred for the energetic valorization of its recyclates. Combustion was pointed out as appropriate for the energetic valorization of PLA submitted to more than three successive reprocessing cycles.
- energetic valorization
- Polylactide (PLA)
- thermal stability
- Thermo-oxidative decomposition kinetics
- evolved-gases analysis (EGA)