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Results

Cooperation between Mexico and Europe has intensified during the three years and
added-value mining products produced in Mexico have been transferred to composites in Europe.
Functional properties are transferrable to industrial scale production and they have potential for future commercial use

Main achievements for PP composites, years 2010 - 2013

  • Reduced smoke production and heat release rate in PP-Mg(OH)2
    composites when including nanosize Mg(OH)2 particles
  • UV protection with 1.0% nano-ZnO in PP comparable with commercial reference with 0.3% organic UV-absorbant
  • PP + Bacfungi 0.15% or 0.33% pellet: No growth of bacterial activity of Staphylococcus Aureus or Escherchia Coli were observed

Main achievements for PVC-wood composites, years 2010 - 2013

  • Improved moisture and UV protection when covering the woodparticles
    more effectively with PVC
  • Improved flame retardancy with Mg(OH)2
  • Better dimensional stability with thermally treated wood
  • Further improvement of dimensional stability using a better acetylated wood flour of Sovere S.p.A.

Main achievements for PS composites, years 2010 - 2013

  • UV-protection with 0.5% nanofiller

Main achievements for sustainability and safety, years 2010 - 2013

  • Life cycle data sets have been compiled for the developed technologies, along with inventories of current practices.
  • A detailed cradle-to-grave LCA was performed on the ENM                            (Ag, ZnO, Mg(OH)2) enhanced polymers (PP, PS, PVC-wood).
  • Fatigue testing of the polymers containing ENMs, in order to address the societal concern of ENM release.
  • A comparative LCA evaluation between the developed technology (ENM enhanced polymers) and current practice (polymers with conventional additives), respectively.

Main achievements for mass production of nanoparticles, years 2010 - 2013

  • Critical parameters such as concentration, agitation speed, reaction time and temperature were defined for each nanoparticle production process.
  • Purification of mining raw materials was performed when necessary.
  • Mg(OH)2 nanoparticles have been successfully synthesized from Epsom salt with a minimum amount of calcium and insoluble matter.
  • ZnO nanoparticles have been successfully synthesized from ZnCl2, since it has not been possible to obtain good purity ZnO from a solution of ZnSO4.
  • Ag nanoparticles have been successfully synthesized from identified
    mining precursors, silver nitrate solution and metallic silver. Peņoles’ silver nitrate solution from the refinery must be purified in order to obtain the expected results.
  • The stability of Mg(OH)2 particles was achieved by adding surfactants. For silver nanoparticles, the reducer acts as a stabilizing agent. ZnO synthesis does not require any stabilizing agents.