Thermochemical conversion of plastic wastes is a promising approach to produce alternative energy-based fuels. Herein, we conducted catalytic fast co-pyrolysis of polycarbonate (PC) and polystyrene (PS) to generate aromatic hydrocarbons using HZSM-5 (Zeolite Socony Mobil-5, hydrogen, Aluminosilicate) as a catalyst. The results indicated that employing HZSM-5 in the catalytic conversion of PC facilitated the synthesis of aromatic hydrocarbons in comparison to the non-catalytic run. A competitive reaction between aromatic hydrocarbons and aromatic oxygenates was observed within the studied temperature region, and catalytic degradation temperature of 700 °C maximized the competing reaction towards the formation of targeted aromatic hydrocarbons at the expense of phenolic products. Catalyst type also played a vital role in the catalytic decomposition of PC wastes, and HZSM-5 with different Si/Al molar ratios produced more aromatic hydrocarbons than HY (Zeolite Y, hydrogen, Faujasite). Regarding the effect of Si/Al molar ration in HZSM-5 on the distribution of monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (MAHs), a Si/Al molar ratio of 38 maximized benzene formation with an advanced factor of 5.1. Catalytic fast co-pyrolysis of PC with hydrogen-rich plastic wastes including polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), and polystyrene (PS) favored the production of MAHs, and PS was the most effective hydrogen donor with a ∼2.5-fold increase. The additive effect of MAHs increased at first and then decreased when the PC percentage was elevated from 30 % to 90 %, achieving the maximum value of 32.4 % at 70 % PC.
- Bisphenol A polycarbonate
- Catalytic thermochemical conversion
- Monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
- Plastic polymers