Optimization of an Appropriate Technology Based Process for Converting Waste Plastic in to Liquid Fuel via Thermal Decomposition

  •  Daniel DeNeve    
  •  Chandni Joshi    
  •  Abhishek Samdani    
  •  John Higgins    
  •  Jeffrey Seay    


Municipal solid waste in the developing world is often improperly disposed of in dumps near slums or simply discarded along the roadside in rural villages. This waste, particularly plastic, is a serious environmental and health concern for the communities in those regions. Lack of infrastructure, capital, and governmental policies contributes to the waste pile-up. Thus, methods of removing, recycling, and repurposing the otherwise pollutant waste are needed. In order to address the problem of plastic waste accumulation in developing regions, a process based on the principles of Appropriate Technology for converting waste plastic into a fuel oil similar to diesel fuel or kerosene has been proposed by the University of Kentucky Appropriate Technology and Sustainability (UKATS) research team. Several commonly occurring plastics such as High and Low Density Polyethylene, Polypropylene, and Polystyrene have been analyzed for their potential as a source of hydrocarbon fuel oil. In order to optimize this chemical process, the temperature parameters leading to maximum product yield have been studied. Experiments have been conducted in a small scale pyrolysis chamber to determine the optimum process temperature. Along with data collection of individual plastics, a mixture of the waste plastic was also analyzed.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1913-9063
  • ISSN(Online): 1913-9071
  • Started: 2008
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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