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Kinetics of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)and Polystyrene (PS) Dynamic Pyrolysis

Authors: S.M. Al-Salem, P. Lettieri


Thermo-chemical treatment (TCT) such as pyrolysis is getting recognized as a valid route for (i) materials and valuable products and petrochemicals recovery; (ii) waste recycling; and (iii) elemental characterization. Pyrolysis is also receiving renewed attention for its operational, economical and environmental advantages. In this study, samples of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polystyrene (PS) were pyrolysed in a microthermobalance reactor (using a thermogravimetric-TGA setup). Both polymers were prepared and conditioned prior to experimentation. The main objective was to determine the kinetic parameters of the depolymerization reactions that occur within the thermal degradation process. Overall kinetic rate constants (ko) and activation energies (Eo) were determined using the general kinetics theory (GKT) method previously used by a number of authors. Fitted correlations were found and validated using the GKT, errors were within ± 5%. This study represents a fundamental step to pave the way towards the development of scaling relationship for the investigation of larger scale reactors relevant to industry.

Keywords: petrochemicals, Recycling, Kinetics, pyrolysis, PET

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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