Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Marco J. Castaldi


Pyrolysis, GCMS, Temperature, Olefins, Cracking, Deoxygenation


In the present world, the nonrenewable source of petroleum crude oil is suspected to cause irreversible climate impacts. So, refinery companies are looking for renewable and recyclable crude oil (RCOs). Biomass and Plastics are a great sources of RCOs. The goal of this work is to design, build and operate a pyrolysis reactor which is capable of converting different solid feedstock derived from waste to pyrolysis oil. The oils are characterized by GC-MS and sent to BASF Corporation in Iselin, NJ for catalytic upgrading potential. In this study, the feedstock ranged from virgin plastic resins (LDPE, HDPE, PS, PP), recycled rubber from tires to poplar wood chips. It was found that, increasing the temperature from 500 ∘C to 600 ∘C for LDPE and HDPE decrease the liquid oil yield from 61.1% to 54.7% and 79.0 wt.% to 75.5 wt.% respectively. The olefin to paraffin ratio increases as the temperature increases for LDPE and HDPE. The ratio increases on average by 1.25 times. From the other polymer resin feedstock, it was found that the polystyrene gives higher liquid yields (86.41 wt.%). The oxygenated entities in the matrix for biomass decrease as temperature increases from 400 ∘C to 500 ∘C due to deoxygenation. The catalytic cracking showed that PE pyrolysis oil yields higher olefins than Vacuum gas oil (VGO). The catalytic cracking of LDPE pyrolysis oil results in 9.8 wt.% more naphtha yield and 1 wt.% coke yield than the VGO catalytic cracking.



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