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Analysis of products from the pyrolysis of plastics recovered from the commercial scale recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment

By W.J. Hall and P.T. Williams

Abstract

Three plastic fractions from a commercial waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) processing plant were collected and investigated for the possibility of recycling them by batch pyrolysis. The first plastic was from equipment containing cathode ray tubes (CRTs), the second plastic was from refrigeration equipment, and the third plastic was from mixed WEEE. Initially, the decomposition of each of the plastics was investigated using a TGA linked to a FT-ir spectrometer which showed that the CRT plastic decomposed to form aliphatic and aromatic compounds, the refrigerator plastic decomposed to form aldehydes, CO2, aromatic, and aliphatic compounds, and the mixed WEEE plastic decomposed to form aromatic and aliphatic compounds, CO2, and CO. Each plastic mixture was also pyrolysed in a batch reactor to determine the halogen and metal content of the pyrolysis products, additionally, characterisation of the pyrolysis oils was carried out by GC-MS and the pyrolysis gases by GC-FID and GC-TCD. It was found that the halogen content of the oils was relatively low but the halogen and metal content of the chars was high. The pyrolysis oils were found to contain valuable chemical products and the pyrolysis gases were mainly halogen free, making them suitable as a fuel

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:3645

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