Catalytic Processing of Mixed Plastics Aiming for Industrial Reuse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The significant surge in global plastic waste has fundamentally shifted the traditional perceptions of plastic as a material. This shift can largely be attributed to established linear economy practices. While plastics offer numerous advantages, their postuse management has been grossly overlooked, resulting in ubiquitous plastic waste. In a circular economy framework for plastics, it is essential to methodically collect and recycle waste, rejuvenating the material for reuse. In this research, a model mixture of polymers, simulating household plastic waste, underwent thermochemical conversion to pyrolysis oil, priming it for the creation of new plastic products. Pyrolysis experiments utilized a bench-scale continuous fluidized bed reactor, employing various slags from the aluminum and steel industries as catalysts. All slags reduced the halogen content in the pyrolysis oil by 90 w/w% compared to the noncatalytic variant. Specifically, red mud further cracked the wax into lighter hydrocarbons, which is more suitable as a feed in the refinery. In parallel to the pyrolysis work, hydrotreatment experiments were conducted in a fixed bed reactor with the noncatalytic pyrolysis oil using 0.5 w/w% Pd/Al2O3 and 78 w/w% NiO/Al2O3 as catalysts to evaluate the halogen removal. Results indicated that the halogen content obtained by hydrotreatment was at the same level as that in the catalytic pyrolysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8009-8020
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Volume38
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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