Ex-situ co-pyrolysis of sugarcane bagasse pith and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) was investigated over zeolite-based catalysts using a tandem micro-reactor at an optimised temperature of 700 °C. A combination of zeolite (HZSM-5) and sodium carbonate/gamma-alumina served as effective catalysts for 18% more oxygen removal than HZSM-5 alone. The combined catalysts led to improved yields of aromatic (8.7%) and olefinic (6.9%) compounds. Carbon yields of 20.3% total aromatics, 18.3% BTXE (benzene, toluene, xylenes and ethylbenzene), 17% olefins, and 7% phenols were achieved under optimal conditions of 700 °C, a pith (biomass) to PET ratio of 4 and an HZSM-5 to sodium carbonate/gamma-alumina ratio of 5. The catalytic presence of sodium prevented coke formation, which has been a major cause of deactivation of zeolite catalysts during co-pyrolysis of biomass and plastics. This finding indicates that the catalyst combination as well as biomass/plastic mixtures used in this work can lead to both high yields of valuable aromatic chemicals and potentially, extended catalyst life time.
Bibliographical note© 2019, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
- HZSM-5/NaCO/γ-AlO catalysts
- Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
- Sugarcane bagasse pith
- Hot Temperature