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Catalytic Degradation of Municipal Waste Plastics to Produce Fuel Range Hydrocarbons using Bentonite

Author : Roopa Farshi, Chirayu Belthur, Ranjan Athreyas and George Jeevan Ramesh

Pages : 172-175
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The aim of this project work is to convert waste plastics into useful fuel range hydrocarbon mixture. Catalytic cracking process using Bentonite as catalyst (1:4 ratios) is used to achieve the aforesaid aim. A Reactor is designed with dimension 300mm height and 150mm inner diameter, made of mild steel sheet (4mm thickness). Necessary equipments such as PID controller, contactor and a k-type thermocouple complete the required circuit. Heating of reactor is done by using a 3-phase band heater. Municipal waste plastics mainly consist of Low density polyethylene (LDPE),High density polyethylene(HDPE) and Polypropylene(PP).These are shredded, weighed and are loaded into the reactor. The reactor is gradually heated to attain temperatures as high as 430-4500 C. Melting of plastics is observed at 1210C (LDPE) 1310C(HDPE) 1500C(PP).The vapors arising due to subsequent heating of plastics quenched directly into ice cold water and oil is separated with the help of separating funnel. Physical properties like volume, density, viscosity, flash point and fire point of oil samples is determined. Chemical analysis of the oil samples is carried out by using FTIR and presence of paraffin’s, olefins and naphthenes is observed in the liquid product. Simple batch distillation of oil is carried out between a temperature range 240-2600C for about 20 minutes to obtain distillate and it’s analysis using FTIR shows the presence of paraffin’s, olefins and naphthenes.

Keywords: waste plastics, catalytic degradation, Bentonite, municipal waste plastics, Polypropylene, LDPE, fuel range hydrocarbon, plastic to fuel, plastic degradation.

Article published in the Proceedings of National Conference on ‘Women in Science & Engineering’ (NCWSE 2013), SDMCET Dharwad



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