Eco-Friendly Flame-Retardant Solutions: Repurposing Polystyrene Waste into Fire-Resistant Polymers

Document Type : Original research articles


Chemistry and Polymer Technology, Polymer Research Center, University of Basrah, Iraq.


The most common types of insulation are Expanded and extruded polystyrene are commonly known as EPS and XPS, respectively; for more than 50 years, both types have been manufactured with the brominated flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD). As soon as HBCDD was Stockholm Convention controlled it because it is a substance of high concern in addition to European REACh laws. As a result, HBCDD insulation is not recommended. Insulation manufactured with HBCDD-equipped EPS or XPS is being phased out, and its waste cannot further undergo cutting-edge mechanical recycling.
Most of the EPS and XPS built before the ban on HBCDDs are still in service. Research is being conducted to find more complex methods of reusing insulating material. Polystyrene from insulation is dissolved in a solvent and recycled in this research. Waste and eliminate both the co-dissolved HBCDD and the insoluble waste components. Due to this procedure, the study examines the mechanical characteristics of regenerated PS and the efficacy of HBCDD removal.
Inorganic waste and other non-target polymers were safely separated, and the results indicated an overall increase in purity, removing more than 99.6 per cent of the HBCDD that was there to begin with. Recycled polystyrene's mechanical characteristics are in the typical quantity of virgin general-use PS, provided that residual solvents are removed if the recycled polymer has a residual solvent level of less than 0.1%, and then it may be used.