Applied machine learning for prediction of waste plastic pyrolysis towards valuable fuel and chemicals production

Yi Cheng, Ecrin Ekici, Güray Yildiz, Yang Yang, Brad Coward, Jiawei Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pyrolysis is a suitable conversion technology to address the severe ecological and environmental hurdles caused by waste plastics' ineffective pre- and/or post-user management and massive landfilling. By using machine learning (ML) algorithms, the present study developed models for predicting the products of continuous and non-catalytically processes for the pyrolysis of waste plastics. Along with different input datasets, four algorithms, including decision tree (DT), artificial neuron network (ANN), support vector machine (SVM), and Gaussian process (GP), were compared to select input variables for the most accurate models. Among these algorithms, the DT model exhibited generalisable and satisfactory accuracy (R2 > 0.99) with training data. The dataset with the elemental composition of waste plastics achieved better accuracy than that with the plastic-type for predicting liquid yields. These observations allow the predictions by the data from ultimate analysis when inaccessible to the plastic-type data in unknown plastic wastes. Besides, the combination of ultimate analysis input and the DT model also achieved excellent accuracy in liquid and gas composition predictions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105857
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
Early online date5 Jan 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work was supported by an Institutional Links grant (No. 527641843), under the Turkey partnership. The grant is funded by the UK Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy together with the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK; ˙Project no. 119N302) and delivered by the British Council. The author Yi Cheng and Jiawei Wang would like to acknowledge the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions Fellowships by The European Research Executive Agency (H2020-MSCA-IF-2020, no. 101025906). The author Jiawei Wang would also like to acknowledge the support from Guangdong Science and Technology Program, No. 2021A0505030008.

Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (


  • Decision tree
  • Machine learning
  • Pyrolysis
  • Ultimate analysis
  • Waste plastics


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