Thermal processing of toxic flame-retarded polymers using a waste fluidized catalytic cracker (FCC) catalyst

William J. Hall*, Norbert Miskolczi, Jude Onwudili, Paul T. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) plastics are particularly problematic to recycle because they contain a variety of brominated flame retardants, some of which are extremely toxic. Pyrolysis has been proposed as a viable processing route for toxic WEEE plastics, but it has been found that the volatile pyrolysis products contain toxic brominated compounds. In this work, we have built on previous work where we reported that zeolite catalysts were capable of destroying toxic organobromines during pyrolysis (Hall, W. J.; Williams, P. T. J. Anal. Appl. Pyrolysis 2008, 81, 139-147). We have investigated the pyrolysis of brominated high-impact polystyrene and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene in the presence of a waste fluidized catalytic cracker (FCC) catalyst. It is reported that, unlike Y-zeolite, the FCC catalyst did not completely destroy the organobromine compounds; however, the catalyst did lower the yield of bromine found in the liquid pyrolysis products by a mechanism that is as yet unclear. The waste FCC catalyst did not greatly alter the composition of the nonbrominated pyrolysis products, and valuable single-ring aromatics were present in the pyrolysis oil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1691-1697
Number of pages7
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2008


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