Co-pyrolysis of biomass and plastic waste over zeolite- and sodium-based catalysts for enhanced yields of hydrocarbon products

Payam Ghorbannezhad*, Sunkyu Park, Jude A. Onwudili

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-918
Number of pages10
JournalWaste Management
Volume102
Early online date13 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2019, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Keywords

  • Co-pyrolysis
  • Hydrocarbons
  • HZSM-5/NaCO/γ-AlO catalysts
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
  • Sugarcane bagasse pith
  • Pyrolysis
  • Sodium
  • Biomass
  • Catalysis
  • Hot Temperature
  • Plastics
  • Zeolites

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