Organic waste is generally characterized by high volume-to-weight ratios, requiring implementation of waste minimization processes. In the present study, the decomposition of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), was studied under thermal and catalytic pyrolysis conditions on two experimental systems. Firstly, pyrolytic conditions for HDPE decomposition were optimized in a laboratory-scale batch reactor. In order to maximize gas yields and minimize secondary waste, the effects of aluminosilicate catalysts, catalyst loading, and reaction temperature on decomposition efficiency were examined. Secondly, kinetics and reaction temperatures were studied on a large capacity thermobalance, especially adjusted to perform experiments under pyrolytic conditions at a larger scale (up to 20 g). The addition of catalysts was shown to enhance polymer decomposition, demonstrated by higher gas conversions. Condensable yields could be further minimized by increasing the catalyst to polymer ratio from 0.1 to 0.2. The most prominent reduction in pyrolysis temperature was obtained over ZSM-5 catalysts with low Si/Al ratios; however, this impact was accompanied by a slower reaction rate. Of the zeolites tested, the ZSM-5 catalyst with a Si/Al of 25 was found to be the most efficient catalyst for waste minimization and organic destruction, leading to high gas conversions (~90 wt%.) and a 30-fold reduction in solid waste mass.
- Catalytic pyrolysis
- Macro thermogravimetric analysis
- Plastic decomposition
- Waste minimization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science (all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry