Special Issue "Waste Plastics into Fuel, Energy and Chemicals"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental and Sustainable Science and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 November 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Luca Rosi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry “Ugo Schiff” of the University of Florence, Via della Lastruccia 3-13, 50019 Sesto F.no, Florence, Italy
Interests: Microwave pyrolysis of plastic waste for fuel and chemicals production; Microwave pyrolysis of biomass for fuel and chemicals production
Prof. David Chiaramonti
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
ReCord – Renewable Energy Consortium for Research and Demonstration and Department of Industrial Engineering of the University of Florence, Viale Morgagni 40, Florence, Italy
Interests: hydrothermal carbonization and liquefaction; pyrolysis; biocrude upgrading; biochar and biochar-derived products chararacterization and use; bio and thermochemical process integration; biofuels and biopoducts
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plastic waste is present in solid urban waste in large quantities, and mechanical separation prior to recycling is necessary to manage these materials. However, the difficulties deriving from organic contamination, inadequate sorting before recycling which involves mixing of different polymers in the collected flows, presence of hazardous materials, presence of plastic composites difficult to recycle and reuse, and the high energy requirements often associated with wasted handling and processing, hamper a complete recycling process for many plastic flows.

Thermochemical conversion processes such as pyrolysis and gasification have attracted considerable attention for the management of plastic wastes. The conversion of these feedstocks to valuable fuel or energy is possible given their petrochemical origin: Furthermore, some hydrolytic treatments can also be conveniently used for the treatment of specific types of plastics.

Thermochemical conversion generates gaseous, liquid, and solid fractions, and can be driven to maximize some of these streams. Gas that is rich in hydrocarbons, and liquids can be used as fuels as a raw stream or upgraded through catalytic upgrading, or as a source for the production of valuable chemicals. The solid char may be employed as a filler to obtain composites, as an active carbon, or as a solid fuel.

We warmly invite you to submit your latest studies or research works concerning thermal and/or catalytic conversion processes of plastic waste aimed at obtaining fuels, energy, or chemicals of industrial interest.

The aims of this Special Issue are

  • To study thermochemical conversion as a valuable solution to process waste plastics and convert them into fuel, energy, or chemicals.
  • To study the plethora of waste streams that can undergo thermochemical treatments.
  • To study different plants for thermochemical processes.
  • To compare traditional, new, and/or combined processes for the conversion of waste plastics, including heating types such as induction, microwave irradiation, etc.
  • To study the characteristics of the products obtained from the different thermochemical processes and to study the influence of the experimental parameters on the yield and the propriety of the products.
  • To study the synthesis and the activity of catalysts in the thermochemical conversion of plastic waste.
  • To study how to directly convert the waste polymers into scaffold molecules for a reuse in the synthesis of valuable intermediate chemicals or in new polymers.
  • To present demonstrative case studies.

Prof. Luca Rosi
Prof. Eng. David Chiaramonti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Plastic waste
  • Pyrolysis
  • Polymers
  • Thermochemical conversion
  • Energies
  • Fuel
  • Catalytic conversion
  • Techno-economic analysis
  • Life cycle assessment

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Management of the Plastic-Rich Fraction of WEEE by Utilization as a Reducing Agent in Metallurgical Processes
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(20), 4224; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9204224 - 10 Oct 2019
Abstract
In modern society, there is a fast growth in the production of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE); however, rapid growth results in the frequent discarding of this equipment. During the treatment of discarded materials, a stream is generated that contains a high fraction [...] Read more.
In modern society, there is a fast growth in the production of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE); however, rapid growth results in the frequent discarding of this equipment. During the treatment of discarded materials, a stream is generated that contains a high fraction of plastic materials, but also metals and oxides. This stream, which is called shredder residue material (SRM), is heterogeneous, which limits its recycling options. Utilizing this material in metallurgical processes allows the plastic fraction to be used as a reductant and energy source and the metallic fraction to be recycled and returned to the production of EEE. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of plastic-containing materials, especially SRM, as alternative reductants in metallurgical processes. The first step was to compare the thermal conversion characteristics of plastic-containing materials to the currently used reducing agent, i.e., coal. Three main candidates, polyurethane (PUR), polyethylene (PE), and SRM, were studied using a drop tube furnace and an optical single-particle burner. PE had the highest volatile content and the fastest conversion time, whereas PUR had the longest conversion time. Thereafter, plastic materials were tested at the industrial scale through injection to the zinc fuming process at the Boliden Rönnskär smelter. During the industrial trial, the amount of coal that was injected was reduced and substituted with plastic material. The results indicate the possibility of reducing the coal injection rate in favor of partial substitution with plastic materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Waste Plastics into Fuel, Energy and Chemicals)
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Open AccessArticle
CVD Synthesis of Solid, Hollow, and Nitrogen-Doped Hollow Carbon Spheres from Polypropylene Waste Materials
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(12), 2451; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9122451 - 15 Jun 2019
Abstract
Plastic waste leaves a serious environmental footprint on the planet and it is imperative to reduce this. Consequently, recycling has been regarded as an important approach in providing one solution to this problem. In this study, we enhanced the value of polypropylene (PP) [...] Read more.
Plastic waste leaves a serious environmental footprint on the planet and it is imperative to reduce this. Consequently, recycling has been regarded as an important approach in providing one solution to this problem. In this study, we enhanced the value of polypropylene (PP) plastic waste by using it as a hydrocarbon source to synthesize a variety of spherical carbon nanomaterials. Here, a CVD method was used to decompose the PP initially into a hydrocarbon gas (propylene). Thereafter, PP was employed to synthesize solid carbon spheres (SCSs), hollow carbon spheres (HCSs), and nitrogen-doped hollow carbon spheres (NHCSs). The latter two were made using a silica template while the N-doping was achieved by the addition of melamine to PP. Yields obtained were between 12–20%. The SCSs (d = 800 nm to 1200 nm), HCSs (id = 985 nm; shell width = 35 nm), and NHCSs (id = ca. 1000 nm; shell width = 40 nm) were all characterized by TEM, SEM, TGA, laser Raman spectroscopy, and XPS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Waste Plastics into Fuel, Energy and Chemicals)
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