Fe-, Ti-, Zr- and Al-pillared clays for efficient catalytic pyrolysis of mixed plastics

Kaixin Li, Junxi Lei, Guoan Yuan, Piyarat Weerachanchai, Jing Yuan Wang, Jun Zhao*, Yanhui Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


Catalytic pyrolysis of mixed plastics including high density polyethylene (HDPE), polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP), and PET (polyethylene terephthalate) has been performed in presence of a series of modified pillared clays (PILC) and Al-PILC. The catalysts were well characterized by BET, FTIR of pyridine adsorption, XRD, SEM, TEM/EDX. The effect of different catalysts on the composition and amount of pyrolysis products including gas, liquid, and char residue was evaluated. With the introduction of Fe-PILC, the yields of oil product were enhanced, suggesting that secondary over-cracking of primary pyrolytic intermediate species was reduced in the presence of the catalyst. A high oil yield of 79.3 wt.% with excellent selectivity for diesel fraction (80.5%) and high yield of H2 gas (47.7 vol%) were obtained in the case of Fe-PILC. The superior catalytic performance of Fe-PILC is probably attributed to its moderate total acidity, relatively high BET surface area, and uniformly dispersed iron oxide particles on montmorillonite support. Accordingly, with the clay catalyst, an efficient and environmentally friendly process can be developed to produce valuable products (e.g. diesel, hydrogen) through pyrolysis of plastic waste.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)800-809
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

User-Defined Keywords

  • Catalytic pyrolysis
  • Feedstock recycling
  • Mixed plastics
  • Pillared clays


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