U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

Coprocessing of Agricultural Plastic Waste and Switchgrass via Tail Gas Reactive Pyrolysis

Dorado Christina, Mullen Charles A., Boateng Akwasi A.
Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 2015 v.54 no.40 pp. 9887-9893
Panicum virgatum, engineering, ethylene, gases, temperature, wastes, hay, carbon, oils, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, polyethylene, USDA, pyrolysis, oxygen, United States
Pyrolysis of mixtures of agricultural plastic waste in the form of polyethylene hay bale covers (PE) (4–37%) and switchgrass were investigated using the US Department of Agriculture’s tail gas reactive pyrolysis (TGRP) process at different temperatures (400–570 °C). TGRP of switchgrass and plastic mixtures significantly reduced the formation of waxy solids that are produced during regular pyrolysis. Under an atmosphere of approximately 70% recycled tail gas, mostly noncondensable gases were produced along with highly deoxygenated and aromaticized pyrolysis oil. When the atmosphere was diluted further to a recycled tail gas concentration of about 55%, higher yields of liquid product were achieved but with less deoxygenation. TGRP of low plastic mixtures (4–8%) produced oils with increased carbon and reduced oxygen content compared to the fast pyrolysis of switchgrass alone. Noncondensable gas fractions containing high concentrations of H₂, CO, ethylene, and other light hydrocarbons remained a significant portion of the product mixture at temperatures above 500 °C.