ACTIVATION ENERGY FOR THE PYROLYSIS OF POLYMERIC WASTES

J. A. Al-Furhood, F. D. Alsewailem, L. A. Almutabaqani

Abstract


Pyrolysis of virgin and discarded polystyrene, polyethylene, and polyethylene-terephthalate was done by the means of thermo-gravimetric technique. Activation energy was measured by fitting the experimental data to the nth (nth) order model. Results have shown that discarded polymers had less activation energy values than those of the virgin polymers. Consequently, energy required for the pyrolysis of discarded polymers must be much less than what is required for virgin polymers. The nth order model has been modified by introducing a new factor which is called degradation index, di. The degradation index, di, accounts for the degradation history of the material. di ranges from 0 to 1 and when it approaches 0 it implies that degradation is anticipated to be severe. When di approaches 1 it implies that polymeric material is virgin.  The approach given by current research, i.e. accounting for actual activation energy for discarded polymers, may be crucial for saving energy when recycling plastics materials by pyrolysis.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17628/ecb.2014.3.93-97

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