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Fast pyrolysis of halogenated plastics recovered from waste computers

By William Hall and Paul Williams

Abstract

The disposal of waste computers is an issue that is gaining increasing interest around the world. In this paper, results from the fast pyrolysis in a fluidized bed reactor of three different waste computer monitor casings composed of mainly acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) copolymer and two different waste computer body casings composed of mostly poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) type polymers are presented. Preliminary characterization of the waste plastics was investigated using coupled thermogravimetric analysis-Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (TGA-FT-IR). The results showed that the plastics decomposed in two stages. For the ABS-containing monitor casings, aromatic and aliphatic material were released in the first and second stages. The PVC-containing computer body casing samples showed a first-stage evolution of HCl and a second stage evolution of aromatic and aliphatic material and further HCl. In addition, each of the five plastics was fast-pyrolyzed in a laboratory-scale fluidized bed reactor at 500 °C. The fluidized bed pyrolysis led to the conversion of most of the plastics to pyrolysis oil, although the two PVC computer body cases produced large quantities of HCl. The pyrolysis oils were characterized by GC-MS and it was found that they were chemically very heterogeneous and contained a wide range of aliphatic, aromatic, halogenated, oxygenated, and nitrogenated compounds

Publisher: American Chemical Society
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:3641

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