Pyrolysis–catalysis of waste plastic using a nickel–stainless-steel mesh catalyst for high-value carbon products

Yeshui Zhang, Mohamad A. Nahil, Chunfei Wu, Paul T. Williams*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A stainless-steel mesh loaded with nickel catalyst was produced and used for the pyrolysis–catalysis of waste high-density polyethylene with the aim of producing high-value carbon products, including carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The catalysis temperature and plastic-to-catalyst ratio were investigated to determine the influence on the formation of different types of carbon deposited on the nickel–stainless-steel mesh catalyst. Increasing temperature from 700 to 900°C resulted in an increase in the carbon deposited on the nickel-loaded stainless-steel mesh catalyst from 32.5 to 38.0 wt%. The increase in sample-to-catalyst ratio reduced the amount of carbon deposited on the mesh catalyst in terms of g carbon g−1 plastic. The carbons were found to be largely composed of filamentous carbons, with negligible disordered (amorphous) carbons. Transmission electron microscopy analysis of the filamentous carbons revealed them to be composed of a large proportion (estimated at ∼40%) multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). The optimum process conditions for CNT production, in terms of yield and graphitic nature, determined by Raman spectroscopy, was catalysis temperature of 800°C and plastic-to-catalyst ratio of 1:2, where a mass of 334 mg of filamentous/MWCNTs g−1 plastic was produced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2889-2897
JournalEnvironmental Technology (United Kingdom)
Volume38
Issue number22
Early online date11 Jan 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 03 Feb 2017

Keywords

  • carbon nanotubes
  • catalysis
  • Polyethylene
  • pyrolysis
  • waste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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