(397a) Chempren: A New Technology for the Conversion of Mixed Municipal Waste to Basic Chemicals and Fuels | AIChE

(397a) Chempren: A New Technology for the Conversion of Mixed Municipal Waste to Basic Chemicals and Fuels


Wendt, L. - Presenter, Idaho National Laboratory
Gaffney, A., Idaho National Laboratory
Maffia, G. J., Manhattan College
Peterman, A., Manhattan College
Liu, X., Manhattan College
ChemPren: A new technology for the conversion of mixed municipal waste to basic chemicals and fuels

Dr. Piyush Sabharwall, Dr. Lynn Wendt, Ms. Roxanne Pinsky and Dr. Anne M. Gaffney
Idaho National Laboratory
Idaho Falls, ID 83404

Dr. Gennaro J Maffia, Amanda E. Peterman and Xufang (Katie) Liu
Manhattan College
Riverdale, NY 10471

Currently, over 90% of used plastics are not directly recycled and end up in U.S. landfills or incinerators. As more composite plastic materials are developed, this problem will only get worse. Technologies to up convert waste plastics to petrochemicals that can be used in the production of new plastics and materials, have been developed in the U.S., Japan, and Korea [1-4]. Catalytic conversion of waste plastics to Benzene, Toluene and Xylenes (BTX) was initially developed by ARCO chemical in the early to mid-1990s [1,2]. The BTX mixture is a versatile feedstock and can be used for the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polycarbonates, polyurethanes, nylons, SBR, ABS and other polymers which are in turn used to produce beverage bottles, clothing, carpeting, automotive components and a broad range of other products. Intellectual property for improvements in the process and catalyst to up convert waste plastics to BTX was recently signed over to INL [5]. This technology capitalizes on INL owned intellectual property and advances the technical readiness level from the current level of 4 to a level of 7 with the project culminating in demonstrating at least 1000 hours of pilot plant operation.


  1. Jones, A.C., Gaffney, A.M., Leyshon, D.W., Cozzone, G.E., Sofranko, J.A., Process for reclaiming a thermoset Polymer, U.S. Patent No. 5,192,809, March 9, 1993.
  2. Gaffney, A.M., Jones, A., Process for treating polyether polyols, U.S. Patent No. 5,462,971, October 31, 1995.
  3. Nishino, J., Itoh, M., Fujiyoshi, H., Uemichi, Y, Catalytic degradation of plastic waste into petrochemicals using Ga-ZSM-5, Fuel 87 (2008)3681-3686.
  4. Jung, S., Cho, M., Kang, B., Kim, J., Pyrolysis of a fraction of waste polypropylene and polyethylene for the recovery of BTX aromatics using a fluidized bed reactor, Fuel Proc. Tech. 91 (2010) 277-284.
  5. Gaffney, A.M., Alloyed zeolite catalyst component, Method for making and catalytic application thereof, U.S. Patent Application 0215043 A1, August 23, 2013.


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