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Experimental investigation on liquefaction of plastic waste to oil in supercritical water

Bai, Bin, Jin, Hui, Fan, Chao, Cao, Changqing, Wei, Wenwen, Cao, Wen
Waste management 2019 v.89 pp. 247-253
carbon, ethylbenzene, feedstocks, liquefaction, liquids, oils, plastics, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polystyrenes, pyrolysis, styrene, temperature, thermal conductivity, toluene, waste management, wastes
In order to solve the problem of low thermal conductivity and high viscous molten liquid reaction product in the process of plastic liquefaction, the experiments of high impact polystyrene (HIPS) plastic liquefaction were carried out in supercritical water. In this paper, the effects of different operating conditions (temperature, time, feedstock concentration and pressure) on liquid products were studied. It is found that the novel phenomenon that the liquid products of HIPS plastic were mainly toluene and ethylbenzene rather than styrene, which was a product of polystyrene. The experimental results showed that plastic first depolymerized to form styrene and 1,3-diphenylpropane, which were then converted to toluene and ethylbenzene. The increase in temperature promoted this transformation process and some traces of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons also produced. At 490 °C, the maximum carbon liquefaction rate of 77.0 wt% was obtained, which was 6 times higher than the conventional pyrolysis, and the content of toluene and ethylbenzene were 14 wt% and 51.3 wt%, respectively. Increasing the reaction pressure and prolonging the reaction time all promoted the progress of the plastic liquefaction reaction, while increasing the feedstock concentration caused the carbon liquefaction rate to increase first and then slightly decrease.