(473b) Techno-Economic Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment of Modular Microwave-Assisted PET Depolymerization
AIChE Annual Meeting
Wednesday, November 16, 2022 - 8:12am to 8:24am
In this work, we evaluated the economic and environmental impacts of a microwave (MW) assisted PET glycolysis process. Unlike most PET glycolysis studies using homogeneous catalysts,8-10 the proposed process utilizes the heterogeneous ZnO catalyst that is more efficient and easier to separate. First, the flowsheet model of the MW-assisted PET glycolysis process is built using Aspen Plus based on reaction conditions and yields. The traditional BHET production from petroleum-based dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) is also simulated. Next, techno-economic analysis (TEA) is conducted using the discounted cash flow method to calculate the minimum selling prices for both routes. A "cradle-to-gate" life cycle assessment (LCA) is performed to compare the environmental impacts of MW-assisted PET depolymerization with traditional BHET production from DMT, including the global warming potential, ecotoxicity, and fuel depletion.11 Our preliminary TEA and LCA demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits of using waste plastics as feedstock.
PET waste is geographically distributed. Thus, building a centralized treatment facility for post-consumer waste PET could suffer from insufficient or disrupted supply and high transportation cost.12, 13 Hence, we simulated the modular MW-assisted PET depolymerization plant at small scales so that they could be built close to plastic waste source and have faster response to supply uncertainties.14, 15 Sievers et al. proposed a fixed capital cost evaluation method for modular plants with a backbone facility and several expandable production line modules.14 This method is applied to our modular MW-assisted waste PET depolymerization process for TEA. High PET conversion and BHET selectivity of this process also enable easy separation of the product, leading to reduced production cost even at a much smaller plant capacity than the centralized BHET production facility using traditional petrochemical feedstock.
- Zheng, J.; Suh, S., Strategies to reduce the global carbon footprint of plastics. Nature Climate Change 2019, 9 (5), 374-378.
- Gubbels, E.; Heitz, T.; Yamamoto, M.; Chilekar, V.; Zarbakhsh, S.; Gepraegs, M.; Köpnick, H.; Schmidt, M.; Brügging, W.; Rüter, J.; Kaminsky, W., Polyesters. In Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, pp 1-30.
- Ragaert, K.; Delva, L.; Van Geem, K., Mechanical and chemical recycling of solid plastic waste. Waste Management 2017, 69, 24-58.
- Sarda, P.; Hanan, J. C.; Lawrence, J. G.; Allahkarami, M., Sustainability performance of polyethylene terephthalate, clarifying challenges and opportunities. Journal of Polymer Science 2022, 60 (1), 7-31.
- Paszun, D.; Spychaj, T., Chemical Recycling of Poly(ethylene terephthalate). Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 1997, 36 (4), 1373-1383.
- Barnard, E.; Rubio Arias, J. J.; Thielemans, W., Chemolytic depolymerisation of PET: a review. Green Chemistry 2021, 23 (11), 3765-3789.
- Bartolome, L.; Imran, M.; Cho, B. G.; Al-masry, W. A.; Kim, D. H., Recent developments in PET recycling. Material Recycling - Trends and Perspectives 2012, 65 - 84.
- Troev, K.; Grancharov, G.; Tsevi, R.; Gitsov, I., A novel catalyst for the glycolysis of poly(ethylene terephthalate). Journal of Applied Polymer Science 2003, 90 (4), 1148-1152.
- Xi, G.; Lu, M.; Sun, C., Study on depolymerization of waste polyethylene terephthalate into monomer of bis(2-hydroxyethyl terephthalate). Polymer Degradation and Stability 2005, 87 (1), 117-120.
- Wang, Q.; Yao, X.; Tang, S.; Lu, X.; Zhang, X.; Zhang, S., Urea as an efficient and reusable catalyst for the glycolysis of poly(ethylene terephthalate) wastes and the role of hydrogen bond in this process. Green Chemistry 2012, 14 (9), 2559-2566.
- Guest, G.; Cherubini, F.; Strømman, A. H., Global warming potential of carbon dioxide emissions from biomass stored in the Anthroposphere and used for bioenergy at end of life. Journal of Industrial Ecology 2013, 17 (1), 20-30.
- Bhosekar, A.; Ierapetritou, M., A framework for supply chain optimization for modular manufacturing with production feasibility analysis. Computers & Chemical Engineering 2021, 145, 107175.
- Allman, A.; Zhang, Q., Dynamic location of modular manufacturing facilities with relocation of individual modules. European Journal of Operational Research 2020, 286 (2), 494-507.
- Sievers, S.; Seifert, T.; Franzen, M.; Schembecker, G.; Bramsiepe, C., Fixed capital investment estimation for modular production plants. Chemical Engineering Science 2017, 158, 395-410.
- Lier, S.; Grünewald, M., Net Present Value Analysis of Modular Chemical Production Plants. Chemical Engineering & Technology 2011, 34 (5), 809-816.