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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) formation from the pyrolysis of different municipal solid waste fractions

Zhou, Hui, Wu, Chunfei, Onwudili, Jude A., Meng, Aihong, Zhang, Yanguo, Williams, Paul T.
Waste management 2015 v.36 pp. 136-146
anthracenes, biomass, cellulose, feedstocks, lignin, municipal solid waste, naphthalene, pectins, phenanthrene, plastics, poly(vinyl chloride), polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalates, polystyrenes, pyrolysis, starch, waste management, xylan
The formation of 2–4 ring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) from the pyrolysis of nine different municipal solid waste fractions (xylan, cellulose, lignin, pectin, starch, polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET)) were investigated in a fixed bed furnace at 800°C. The mass distribution of pyrolysis was also reported. The results showed that PS generated the most total PAH, followed by PVC, PET, and lignin. More PAH were detected from the pyrolysis of plastics than the pyrolysis of biomass. In the biomass group, lignin generated more PAH than others. Naphthalene was the most abundant PAH, and the amount of 1-methynaphthalene and 2-methynaphthalene was also notable. Phenanthrene and fluorene were the most abundant 3-ring PAH, while benzo[a]anthracene and chrysene were notable in the tar of PS, PVC, and PET. 2-ring PAH dominated all tar samples, and varied from 40wt.% to 70wt.%. For PS, PET and lignin, PAH may be generated directly from the aromatic structure of the feedstock.