Pyrolysis appears to be a promising recycling process since it could convert the disposed polymers to hydrocarbon based fuels or various useful chemicals. In the current study, two model polymers found in WEEEs, namely polycarbonate (PC) and high impact polystyrene (HIPS) and their counterparts found in waste commercial Compact Discs (CDs) were pyrolysed in a bench scale reactor. Both, thermal pyrolysis and pyrolysis in the presence of two catalytic materials (basic MgO and acidic ZSM-5 zeolite) was performed for all four types of polymers. Results have shown significant recovery of the monomers and valuable chemicals (phenols in the case of PC and aromatic hydrocarbons in the case of HIPS), while catalysts seem to decrease the selectivity towards the monomers and enhance the selectivity towards other desirable compounds.
- Compact discs
- Waste electrical and electronic equipment