Study of pyrolysis of high density polyethylene in the open system and estimation of its capability for co-pyrolysis with lignite

Ivan Kojić, Achim Bechtel, Friedrich Kittinger, Nikola Stevanović, Marko Obradović, Ksenija Stojanović


Pyrolysis of high density polyethylene (HDPE) in the open system was studied. Plastic bag for food packing was used as a source of HDPE. Pyrolysis was performed at temperatures of 400 oC, 450 oC and 500 oC, which were chosen based on thermogravimetric analysis. The HDPE pyrolysis yielded liquid, gaseous and solid products. Temperature rise resulted in increase conversion of HDPE into liquid and gaseous products. The main constituents of liquid pyrolysates are 1-n-alkenes, n-alkanes and terminal n-dienes. Composition of liquid products indicates that performed pyrolysis of HDPE could not serve as a standalone operation for producing of gasoline or diesel, but preferably as a pretreatment to yield a product to be blended into a refinery or petrochemical feed stream. Advantage of liquid pyrolysate in comparison to crude oil is extremely low content of aromatic hydrocarbons and absence of polar compounds. Gaseous products have desirable composition and consist mainly of methane and ethene. Solid residues do not produce ash by combustion and have high calorific values. Co-pyrolysis of HDPE with mineral-rich lignite indicated positive synergetic effect at 450 oC and 500 oC, which is reflected through increased experimental yields of liquid- and gaseous products in comparison to theoretical ones. 


High density polyethylene; open pyrolysis system; TGA-FTIR; GC-MS; lignite; synergetic effect

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