Catalytic conversion of waste low density polyethylene into fuel oil


1 Department of Chemistry, University of Malakand, Chakdara, N.W.F.P., Pakistan

2 University of Malakand, Chakdara, N.W.F.P., Pakistan

3 Institute of Chemical Sciences, University of Peshawar, N.W.F.P., Pakistan

4 Department of Chemistry, Sarhad University of Science & Information Technology, Peshawar, N.W.F.P, Pakistan

5 Department of Chemistry, Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, N.W.F.P,Pakistan


Waste Low density polyethylenes (LDPE) represent a source of energy and valuable
chemicals, were pyrolysed catalytically in a batch reactor under atmospheric pressure. Calcium
carbide was used as a catalyst to explore its effect on pyrolysis product distribution. The effect of
temperature, amount of catalyst and time on the yields of the pyrolysed products was
investigated. The effect of catalyst on the liquid yield was also studied. The results demonstrate
that temperature has a promising effect on the yield; however high temperature, as well as high
catalyst loading, caused a decline in liquid yield. The liquid obtained from catalytic pyrolysis
were also characterized by physical and chemical tests. Among the physical tests Density,
Specific gravity, API gravity, Viscosity, Kinematic viscosity, Aniline point, Flash point, Watson
Characterization Constant, Freezing Point, Diesel Index, Refractive Index, Gross calorific value,
Net calorific value and ASTM Distillation were determined according to IP and ASTM standard
methods for fuel values. From the physical tests it was observed that the results for the liquid
fractions are comparable with the standard results of physical tests for gasoline, kerosene and
diesel fuel oil. Phenols and carbonyls were quantitatively determined by spectrophotometric
methods using Folin-Denis and Phenyl Hydrazine reagents respectively. The components of
different hydrocarbons in the oil mixture were separated by using column chromatography and
fractional distillation followed by characterization with FT-IR spectroscopy.


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