Abstract

Results of pyrolysis tests are presented from a laboratory scale thermal destruction facility on samples containing varying composition of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and bisphenol-A-polycarbonate (PC) mixed with non-plastic material (cellulose). Equilibrium thermochemical calculations were performed under conditions of pyrolysis. Temperature was varied from 600 to 1400K. Data provided the effect of temperature and the chemical composition of the surrogate solid waste on the emissions of NOx, CO, CO2, HC and O2. Increase in temperature enhances thermal destruction behavior of the surrogate waste which results in maximum volume reduction of the waste and an increase in the volume and heating value of the product gases. The numerical calculations using equilibrium conditions show similar trends to those obtained experimentally. Under pyrolysis conditions, the measured levels of CO, CO2 and HC were lower than the calculated ones in the temperature range of 700–1000K and higher in the 1100–1400K range. In all tests the measured O2 concentrations were higher than the calculated results. In general the level of CO was found to be very high while CO2 decreased with an increase in temperature. These results suggest that the composition of the waste as well as the conditions under which the thermal destruction process takes place, (i.e., temperature and rate of heating) affects thermal destruction. These results reveal significant effect of controlled pyrolysis on the amount and nature of species formed. This information can assist in developing strategies for the design and operation of thermal destruction facilities.

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