The current scale of plastics production and the accompanying waste disposal problems represent a largely untapped opportunity for chemical upcycling. Tandem catalytic conversion by platinum supported on g-alumina converts various polyethylene grades in high yields (up to 80 weight percent) to lowmolecular-weight liquid/wax products, in the absence of added solvent or molecular hydrogen, with little production of light gases. The major components are valuable long-chain alkylaromatics and alkylnaphthenes (average ~C30, dispersity Ð = 1.1). Coupling exothermic hydrogenolysis with endothermic aromatization renders the overall transformation thermodynamically accessible despite the moderate reaction temperature of 280°C. This approach demonstrates how waste polyolefins can be a viable feedstock for the generation of molecular hydrocarbon products.
DOE Contract Number(s)
Department of Energy Subject Categories
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY
Iowa State University Digital Repository, Ames IA (United States)
Available for download on Friday, October 22, 2021