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Energies 2017, 10(6), 784; doi:10.3390/en10060784

DC Thermal Plasma Design and Utilization for the Low Density Polyethylene to Diesel Oil Pyrolysis Reaction

1
Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, ON L1H 7K4, Canada
2
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, ON L1H 7K4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mejdi Jeguirim
Received: 25 December 2016 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 7 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Production Systems)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4023 KB, uploaded 7 June 2017]   |  

Abstract

The exponential increase of plastic production produces 100 million tonnes of waste plastics annually which could be converted into hydrocarbon fuels in a thermal cracking process called pyrolysis. In this research work, a direct current (DC) thermal plasma circuit is designed and used for conversion of low density polyethylene (LDPE) into diesel oil in a laboratory scale pyrolysis reactor. The experimental setup uses a 270 W DC thermal plasma at operating temperatures in the range of 625 °C to 860 °C for a low density polyethylene (LDPE) pyrolysis reaction at pressure = −0.95, temperature = 550 °C with τ = 30 min at a constant heating rate of 7.8 °C/min. The experimental setup consists of a vacuum pump, closed system vessel, direct current (DC) plasma circuit, and a k-type thermocouple placed a few millimeters from the reactant sample. The hydrocarbon products are condensed to diesel oil and analyzed using flame ionization detector (FID) gas chromatography. The analysis shows 87.5% diesel oil, 1,4-dichlorobenzene (Surr), benzene, ethylbenzene and traces of toluene and xylene. The direct current (DC) thermal plasma achieves 56.9 wt. % of diesel range oil (DRO), 37.8 wt. % gaseous products and minimal tar production. The direct current (DC) thermal plasma shows reliability, better temperature control, and high thermal performance as well as the ability to work for long operation periods. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable engineering; thermoplastics; pyrolysis oil; gas chromatography; diesel oil; LDPE chemical recycling; direct current thermal plasma sustainable engineering; thermoplastics; pyrolysis oil; gas chromatography; diesel oil; LDPE chemical recycling; direct current thermal plasma
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gabbar, H.A.; Aboughaly, M.; Stoute, C.B. DC Thermal Plasma Design and Utilization for the Low Density Polyethylene to Diesel Oil Pyrolysis Reaction. Energies 2017, 10, 784.

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