Influence of metal addition to Ni-based catalysts for the co-production of carbon nanotubes and hydrogen from the thermal processing of waste polypropylene

Mohamad Anas Nahil, Chunfei Wu, Paul T. Williams*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper investigates the co-production of hydrogen and carbon nanotubes from the pyrolysis-catalytic gasification of waste plastics (polypropylene). We report on the influence of a range of metal additions to a nickel based catalyst based on ternary mixed oxide types Ni-Metal-Al, where the metal was Zn, Mg, Ca, Ce or Mn. The results showed that of the different metal-nickel catalysts investigated, the Ni-Mn-Al catalyst was the most promising catalyst in relation to the co-production of hydrogen and CNT. For example, the Ni-Mn-Al catalyst produced 71.4 mmol hydrogen g- 1 plastic, while the hydrogen production using Ni-Ca-Al, Ni-Ce-Al and Ni-Zn-Al catalysts were 68.5 mmol g- 1, 63.1 mmol g- 1 and 45.9 mmol hydrogen g- 1 plastic respectively. In addition, carbon deposition on the catalyst was highest in the order of: Ni-Mn-Al > Ni-Ca-Al > Ni-Zn-Al > Ni-Ce-Al > Ni-Mg-Al. The carbon deposition for the Ni-Mn-Al catalyst was found to consist of mostly carbon nanotubes. Further investigation of the Ni-Mn-Al catalyst demonstrated that the interaction between Ni and catalyst support plays a significant role in the gasification process; weak metal support interaction (for the Ni-Mn-Al catalyst calcined at 300 °C) resulted in a lower hydrogen production and much higher yield of carbon products. In addition, the influence of steam injection rate on hydrogen and carbon nanotube production was investigated for the Ni-Mn-Al catalyst. Increasing the steam injection rate significantly increased hydrogen production and decreased carbon deposition. However, at lower steam injection rates, the quality of the product carbon nanotubes was improved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-53
JournalFuel Processing Technology
Volume130
Early online date12 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2015

Keywords

  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Gasification
  • Hydrogen
  • Plastic
  • Reforming
  • Waste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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