(438g) Pyrolysis of Plastic Wastes

Authors: 
Ocone, R., Heriot-Watt University

Recycling of plastics is both challenging and non-economic due to the presence of impurities and the energy intensive recovery process.  Pyrolysis, as thermochemical conversion of waste to recovery lower molecular weight hydrocarbon products, is an attractive process which simultaneously reduces emissions by locking carbon (char prodcution).

Experiments are reported where plastic wastes are pyrolysed by employing a laboratory scale batch fixed bed reactor. A quantitative analysis of the gas, liquid, wax and solid products was conducted to study the process. TGA /DSC measurements were undertaken to investigate the volatile yields, char-like yields, and the fixed carbon produced. Subsequently, the experimental results were used to validate kinetic lumping models developed to describe the primary and secondary products of the pyrolysis process. The kinetic parameters were estimated as function of time at three different operating temperatures and the model was fully characterised by identifying the kinetic rate constants and the activation energies of the primary and secondary pyrolysis products.