Catalytic pyrolysis of linear low-density polyethylene using recycled coal ash: Kinetic study and environmental evaluation

Jianchen Lai, Yang MENG, Yuxin YAN, Edward Lester, Tao Wu, Cheng Heng Pang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Catalytic pyrolysis offers a sustainable route to convert plastic wastes into fuel. We investigated the catalytic performance of coal ash (fly and bottom ash) at blending ratio of 5 wt%, and 15 wt% during pyrolysis of linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE). The influence on activation energy and oil was characterized via thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Results have shown that 15 wt% bottom ash exhibited higher catalytic activity. The activation energy estimated by Coats-Redfern method decreased from 458.7 kJ·mol−1 to 437.8 kJ·mol−1, while the alicyclic hydrocarbon yield increased from 5.97% to 32.09%. This implies that CaO, which is abundant in bottom ash, could promote the conversion of LLDPE. Furthermore, a cradle-to-factory gate life cycle assessment was performed to investigate three scenarios (non-catalytic pyrolysis, 15 wt% fly ash, and 15 wt% bottom ash) of LLDPE conversion strategies via a normalization and weighting approach. It was found that LLDPE pyrolysis with 15 wt% bottom ash also showed the lowest normalized score of 2.83, implying the lowest environmental impact. This work has demonstrated that the recycling of coal ash, particularly bottom ash, as catalysts for LLDPE pyrolysis is effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2235-2246
Number of pages12
JournalKorean Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume38
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Catalyst
  • Catalytic Pyrolysis
  • Coats-Redfern Method
  • Normalization and Weighted Scores
  • Waste Management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)

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