Optimisation of Plastics Pyrolysis for Liquid Fuel
Pyrolysis of post-consumer plastics, comprising of high density polyethylene, low density polyethylene, polystyrene and polypropylene, is investigated for temperatures up to 1000°C. The mixture is representative of the major polymeric materials found in municipal plastic waste stream. This research focused on the influence of reaction conditions on the pyrolysis process, and the products of liquid and gaseous fuels for each individual plastic material. Ultimately the pyrolysis reaction and product from pyrolyzing of mixed plastics were investigated. The first stage of the project involved a comparison of waste plastics and virgin plastic. The space temperature in the pyrolyzer and the product were measured simultaneously. The results indicated that pyrolysis occurred mainly at about 400°C (wall temperature of the reaction channel). The pyrolysis products can be decomposed into low molecular weight products by increasing the reaction temperature and extending the retention time.