THE EFFECT OF TEMPERATURE AND CATALYST MODIFICATION ON THERMOCATALYTIC DEGRADATION OF LOW DENSITY POLYETHYLENE
Low density polyethylene (LDPE), which is non biodegradable, is a major constituent of municipal solid waste and source of light hydrocarbons when recycled using thermo-catalytic processes. In this study, the effects of temperatures (400 and 500 oC) and catalysts (commercial and modified mordenite) on the reforming of the vapour obtained from the pyrolysis of LDPE were studied. Commercial mordenite was acid treated and impregnated with 0.3 wt% Iron; the catalysts thus prepared were A1: commercial mordenite, A2: acid treated mordenite and A3: 0.3 wt% Fe loaded on mordenite. The catalysts were characterized using X-Ray Diffractometer and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller techniques, and then used to reform the pyrolysed LDPE at reforming temperatures 400 and 500 oC. The reformed products obtained were liquid and gases. The liquid products were analysed using GCMS. The results showed paraffins were predominant in the samples obtained from the use of A1. While the samples obtained using A2 and A3 had olefins and aromatics present. The carbon atoms in the hydrocarbons ranged from C5 – C36 for A1, and reduced to C5 – C16 and C5 – C22 for A2 and A3 respectively. The results showed the ability of mordenite to reform the vapours of pyrolysis to products within fuel range.