Title: Thermo-catalytic degradation of low density polyethylene to liquid fuel over kaolin catalyst

Authors: Achyut Kumar Panda; Raghubansh Kumar Singh

Addresses: Department of Chemistry, School of Engineering and Technology, Centurion University of Technology and Management, Bhubaneswar, Ramchandrapur, P.O.: Jatni, Dist: Khurda, Orissa, PIN: 752050, India ' Department of Chemical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela (Orissa) PIN: 769008, India

Abstract: Waste low-density polyethylene samples were subjected to thermo-catalytic degradation using kaolin as catalyst in a batch reactor at temperature range of 400 to 500°C and atmospheric pressure. The quality and yield of the condensable product has been studied as a function of temperature and amount of catalyst. Both in thermal and catalytic degradation, the condensable fraction was less viscous liquid oil at low temperatures (up to 450°C), whereas with increase of temperature (from 475°C) the fraction became viscous and waxy. The recovery of condensable fraction increased from 30.8 wt.% at 400°C to 71.45% at 450°C and further increased to a maximum of 86.65wt.% at 500°C in absence of catalyst. The catalyst increased the yield of the condensable product and decreased the reaction time. The highest yield of liquid fraction at 450°C was 79.5 wt.% with 1:2 catalyst to plastics ratio. The composition of the oil obtained at optimum reaction condition was characterised by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (and found consisting of paraffins and olefins with mainly C10-C16 components. Fuel properties of the oil obtained by different standard methods are similar to petrochemical fuels.

Keywords: low-density polyethylene; LDPE; thermocatalytic degradation; kaolin catalyst; batch reactors; petrochemical fuels; solid waste management; plastic waste; thermal degradation; catalytic pyrolysis; fuel oil; waste recycling; liquid fuel.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEWM.2014.058803

International Journal of Environment and Waste Management, 2014 Vol.13 No.1, pp.104 - 114

Received: 21 Dec 2012
Accepted: 28 May 2013

Published online: 21 Jan 2014 *

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