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Article

Comparative Analysis of the Behaviour of Marine Litter in Thermochemical Waste Treatment Processes

1
Unit of Technology of Fuels, RWTH Aachen University, 52056 Aachen, Germany
2
Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, RWTH Aachen University, 52056 Aachen, Germany
3
Department of Geography, Chair of Physical Geography and Geoecology, RWTH Aachen University, 52056 Aachen, Germany
4
PGS Pacific Garbage Screening GmbH (Future Everwave), 52070 Aachen, Germany
5
Institute of Applied Microbiology, Aachen Biology and Biotechnology, RWTH Aachen University, 52056 Aachen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2021, 9(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9010013
Received: 30 November 2020 / Revised: 18 December 2020 / Accepted: 18 December 2020 / Published: 23 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Technology of Waste Treatment)
Plastic in the ocean, especially plastic on the ocean surface is not only researched intensively but also photos and reports rise awareness of the challenge in the general public. While research is concerned with the fate of marine litter in the environment, recycling of these materials after collection is rarely addressed, mainly because there is neither considerable data on composition nor a suggested process to do so. This study is the first to analyse and evaluate chemical recycling (pyrolysis, gasification) and energy recovery (incineration) of marine litter. Two heterogenous marine litter samples from Sylt and Norderney, North Sea, Germany, were analysed, consisting of six different material groups. Agricultural mulch foil was used as reference material. The thermochemical treatment processes were reproduced by thermogravimetric analysis. Furthermore, pyrolysis trials on a semi-technical scale were conducted and the residues were analysed by proximate, ultimate and X-ray fluorescence analysis. The results indicate that heterogeneous and weathered material mixtures can be treated by thermochemical processes. Finally, the pyrolysis condensates are discussed as substrate for biotechnological upcycling. In summary, we present a comprehensive approach from the material characterisation of marine litter to the analysis of three different thermochemical treatment processes and the possibility to use the generated pyrolysis condensate for subsequent upcycling. The data collected form the basis for the evaluation and application of possible treatment options for the collected marine litter. View Full-Text
Keywords: marine litter; waste treatment; plastic waste; pyrolysis; gasification; incineration; thermogravimetric analysis; biotechnological upcycling; plastics recycling marine litter; waste treatment; plastic waste; pyrolysis; gasification; incineration; thermogravimetric analysis; biotechnological upcycling; plastics recycling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hee, J.; Schlögel, K.; Lechthaler, S.; Plaster, J.; Bitter, K.; Blank, L.M.; Quicker, P. Comparative Analysis of the Behaviour of Marine Litter in Thermochemical Waste Treatment Processes. Processes 2021, 9, 13. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9010013

AMA Style

Hee J, Schlögel K, Lechthaler S, Plaster J, Bitter K, Blank LM, Quicker P. Comparative Analysis of the Behaviour of Marine Litter in Thermochemical Waste Treatment Processes. Processes. 2021; 9(1):13. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9010013

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hee, Johann, Kai Schlögel, Simone Lechthaler, Jacqueline Plaster, Kristina Bitter, Lars M. Blank, and Peter Quicker. 2021. "Comparative Analysis of the Behaviour of Marine Litter in Thermochemical Waste Treatment Processes" Processes 9, no. 1: 13. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9010013

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