(528e) Molten Salt Pyrolysis of Waste Polystyrene

Awaji, M., Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Alamer, A., Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Timko, M. T., Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Datta, R., Worcester Polytechnic Institute

In recent decades, the world has been concerned about the environmental impact of waste plastic, and researchers have been focusing on developing new methods to recycle plastic waste. The most common are mechanical recycling techniques, but they fail to treat the majority of waste plastics. Thus, recent studies focus on monomer recovery via thermal pyrolysis. The goal of this project was to develop a novel single pot pyrolysis technique by employing molten salts to attain good yields at varied conditions. The effects of temperature, salt composition and catalyst were studied, and the yield and the composition of liquid products were analyzed. The best temperature and salt composition that result in the highest liquid yield, monomer recovery and monomer selectivity, were identified.