Thermal and catalytic pyrolysis of virgin low-density polyethylene (LDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP) and mixtures of LDPE/PP were carried out in a 200 mL laboratory scale batch reactor at 460 °C in a nitrogen atmosphere. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was carried out to study the thermal and catalytic degradation of the polymers at a heating rate of 10 °C/min. The amount of PP was varied in the LDPE/PP mixture to explore its effect on the reaction. In thermal degradation (TGA) of LDPE/PP blends, a lower decomposition temperature was observed for LDPE/PP mixtures compared to pure LDPE, indicating interaction between the two polymer types. In the presence of a catalyst (CAT-2), the degradation temperatures for the pure polymers were reduced. The TGA results were validated in a batch reactor using PP and LDPE, respectively. The result from thermal pyrolysis showed that the oil product contained significant amounts of hydrocarbons in the ranges of C7
(gasoline range) and C13
(diesel range). The catalyst enhanced cracking at lower temperatures and narrowed the hydrocarbon distribution in the oil towards the lower molecular weight range (C7
). The result suggests that the oil produced from catalytic pyrolysis of waste plastics has a potential as an alternative fuel.
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