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Mechanical Engineering Commons

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Michigan Technological University

Department of Materials Science and Engineering Publications

EPBT

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Full-Text Articles in Mechanical Engineering

Energy Payback Time Of A Solar Photovoltaic Powered Waste Plastic Recyclebot System, Shan Zhong, Pratiksha Rakhe, Joshua M. Pearce Jun 2017

Energy Payback Time Of A Solar Photovoltaic Powered Waste Plastic Recyclebot System, Shan Zhong, Pratiksha Rakhe, Joshua M. Pearce

Department of Materials Science and Engineering Publications

The growth of both plastic consumption and prosumer 3-D printing are driving an interest in producing 3-D printer filaments from waste plastic. This study quantifies the embodied energy of a vertical DC solar photovoltaic (PV) powered recyclebot based on life cycle energy analysis and compares it to horizontal AC recyclebots, conventional recycling, and the production of a virgin 3-D printer filament. The energy payback time (EPBT) is calculated using the embodied energy of the materials making up the recyclebot itself and is found to be about five days for the extrusion of a poly lactic acid (PLA) filament or 2 ...