Liquid and Gaseous Fuel from Waste Plastics by Sequential Pyrolysis and Catalytic Reforming Processes over Indonesian Natural Zeolite Catalysts

Mochamad Syamsiro, Shuo Cheng, Wu Hu, Harwin Saptoadi, Nosal Nugroho Pratama, Wega Trisunaryanti, Kunio Yoshikawa



In this study, the performance of several differently treated natural zeolites in a sequential pyrolysis and catalytic reforming of plastic materials i.e. polypropylene (PP) and polystyrene (PS) were investigated. The experiments were carried out on two stage reactor using semi-batch system. The samples were degraded at 500°C in the pyrolysis reactor and then reformed at 450°C in the catalytic reformer. The results show that the mordenite-type natural zeolites could be used as efficient catalysts for the conversion of PP and PS into liquid and gaseous fuel. The treatment of natural zeolites in HCl solution showed an increase of the surface area and the Si/Al ratio while nickel impregnation increased the activity of catalyst. As a result, liquid product was reduced while gaseous product was increased. For PP, the fraction of gasoline (C5-C12) increased in the presence of catalysts. Natural zeolite catalysts could also be used to decrease the heavy oil fraction (>C20). The gaseous products were found that propene was dominated in all conditions. For PS, propane and propene were the main components of gases in the presence of nickel impregnated natural zeolite catalyst. Propene was dominated in pyrolysis over natural zeolite catalyst. The high quality of gaseous product can be used as a fuel either for driving gas engines or for dual-fuel diesel engine.


pyrolysis; catalytic reformer; waste plastics; fuels; natural zeolites

Full Text:



Lee, S.Y., et al., Catalytic degradation of polystyrene over natural clinoptilolite zeolite. Polymer Degradation and Stability, 2001. 74(2): p. 297-305.

UNEP, Converting waste plastics into resource: compendium of technologies. 2009, United Nations Environment Programme: Osaka.

Aguado, J., et al., Feedstock recycling of polyethylene in a two-step thermo-catalytic reaction system. Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 2007. 79(1–2): p. 415-423.

Buekens, A.G. and H. Huang, Catalytic plastics cracking for recovery of gasoline-range hydrocarbons from municipal plastic wastes. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 1998. 23(3): p. 163-181.

Miskolczi, N. and R. Nagy, Hydrocarbons obtained by waste plastic pyrolysis: Comparative analysis of decomposition described by different kinetic models. Fuel Processing Technology. 104(0): p. 96-104.

Hussain, Z., et al., The conversion of waste polystyrene into useful hydrocarbons by microwave-metal interaction pyrolysis. Fuel Processing Technology. 94(1): p. 145-150.

Lin, H.-T., et al., Hydrocarbon fuels produced by catalytic pyrolysis of hospital plastic wastes in a fluidizing cracking process. Fuel Processing Technology, 2010. 91(11): p. 1355-1363.

Seo, Y.-H., K.-H. Lee, and D.-H. Shin, Investigation of catalytic degradation of high-density polyethylene by hydrocarbon group type analysis. Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 2003. 70(2): p. 383-398.

Mikulec, J. and M. Vrbova, Catalytic and thermal cracking of selected polyolefins. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, 2008. 10(2): p. 121-130.

Wang, J.L. and L.L. Wang, Catalytic Pyrolysis of Municipal Plastic Waste to Fuel with Nickel-loaded Silica-alumina Catalysts. Energy Sources, Part A: Recovery, Utilization, and Environmental Effects, 2011. 33(21): p. 1940-1948.

Miskolczi, N., et al., Fuels by pyrolysis of waste plastics from agricultural and packaging sectors in a pilot scale reactor. Fuel Processing Technology, 2009. 90(7–8): p. 1032-1040.

X. Ji, J.L.Q.J.Q.W., Study on the Conversion of Polypropylene Waste to Oil in a Fluidized Bed Reactor. Energy Sources, 2001. 23(2): p. 157-163.

Onwudili, J.A., N. Insura, and P.T. Williams, Composition of products from the pyrolysis of polyethylene and polystyrene in a closed batch reactor: Effects of temperature and residence time. Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 2009. 86(2): p. 293-303.

Bagri, R. and P.T. Williams, Catalytic pyrolysis of polyethylene. Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 2002. 63(1): p. 29-41.

Williams, P.T. and R. Bagri, Hydrocarbon gases and oils from the recycling of polystyrene waste by catalytic pyrolysis. International Journal of Energy Research, 2004. 28(1): p. 31-44.

San Miguel, G., D.P. Serrano, and J. Aguado, Valorization of Waste Agricultural Polyethylene Film by Sequential Pyrolysis and Catalytic Reforming. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2009. 48(18): p. 8697-8703.

Cakicioglu-Ozkan, F. and S. Ulku, The effect of HCl treatment on water vapor adsorption characteristics of clinoptilolite rich natural zeolite. Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 2005. 77(1): p. 47-53.

Jeong, S., J.-H. Kim, and G. Seo, Liquid-phase degradation of HDPE over alkali-treated natural zeolite catalysts. Korean Journal of Chemical Engineering, 2001. 18(6): p. 848-853.

Park, D.W., et al., Catalytic degradation of polyethylene over solid acid catalysts. Polymer Degradation and Stability, 1999. 65(2): p. 193-198.

Fernandes, V.J., Jr., et al., Kinetic Parameters of Polyethylene Degradation by the Natural Zeolite Chabazite. Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 1999. 56(3): p. 1279-1282.

Hwang, E.-Y., et al., Performance of acid treated natural zeolites in catalytic degradation of polypropylene. Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 2002. 62(2): p. 351-364.

Trisunaryanti, W., et al., Characterization and modification of Indonesian natural zeolites and their properties for hydrocracking of a paraffin. Sekiyu Gakkaishi 1996. 39(1): p. 20-25.

Sarker, M., M.M. Rashid, and M. Molla, Waste polypropylene plastic conversion into liquid hydrocarbon fuel for producing electricity and energies. Environmental Technology. 33(24): p. 2709-2721.

Trisunaryanti, W., et al., Characteristics of Metal Supported-Zeolite Catalysts for Hydrocracking of Polyethylene Terephthalat. IOSR Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2013. 3(4): p. 29-34.

Lee, S.-Y., J.-H. Yoon, and D.-W. Park, Catalytic degradation of mixture of polyethylene and polystyrene. J. Ind. Eng. Chem, 2002. 8(2): p. 143-149.

Joo, H.S. and J.A. Guin, Hydrocracking of a Plastics Pyrolysis Gas Oil to Naphtha. Energy & Fuels, 1997. 11(3): p. 586-592.

Published by Waste Resources Research Center (WRRC), Diponegoro University - Indonesia
WasTech by is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0.