(13e) Kinetic Characterization of Catalytic Gasification of Polymers for Waste Management | AIChE

(13e) Kinetic Characterization of Catalytic Gasification of Polymers for Waste Management


Tillie, C. F. - Presenter, Cleveland State University
Adhikari, S., Cleveland State University
Cmar, J. M., Cleveland State University
Reeves, S. A., Cleveland State University
Gatica, J. E., Cleveland State University

Increasing energy demands and sustainability have recently renewed attention on waste-to-energy routes as sustainable waste management strategies. Wet thermal catalytic oxidation (WTCO) processes are considered in this study as low-temperature waste management or reduction.

Gasification processes promote low-temperature conversion of long polymeric chains into synthetic or “supply” gas (syngas). As the activation energy has proven to be reduced significantly in the presence of a catalyst, WTCO is considered an attractive option to more traditional, high-temperature, gasification techniques.

This research examines the catalytic oxidation of low and mid-fidelity space exploration trash simulants (single polymers and combinations of polymers) for different reactor configurations: (1) catalyst particles combined in a slurry of water and waste polymers, and (2) catalyst deposited on solid substrates.

Data collected in a research-grade laboratory reactor are characterized by gas chromatography and used for the kinetic characterization of catalytic gasification processes. Experiments are complemented by thermal characterization of simulants and catalytic slurries.

Kinetic analysis is used to formulate and characterize a reaction mechanism of the gasification process. The kinetics of this gasification process are combined with detailed thermodynamics in a process simulator. Scaled-up flow processes for continuous waste management are investigated with this model for yield and selectivity optimization.