Thermal and catalytic degradation of structurally different types of polyethylene into fuel oil

Md Azhar Uddin, Kazuo Koizumi, Katsuhide Murata, Yusaku Sakata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

117 Citations (Scopus)


The degradation of four different types of polyethylene (PE) namely high density PE (HDPE), low density PE (LDPE), linear low density PE (LLDPE), and cross-linked PE (XLPE) was carried out at 430°C by batch operation using silica-alumina as a solid acid catalyst and thermally without any catalyst. For thermal degradation, both HDPE and XLPE produced a significant amount of wax-like compounds and the yields of liquid products (58-63 wt%) were lower than that of LDPE and LLDPE (76-77 wt%). LDPE and LLDPE produced a very small amount of wax-like compounds. Thus the structure of the degrading polymers influenced the product yields. The liquid products from thermal degradation were broadly distributed in the carbon fraction of n-C5 to n-C25 (boiling point range, 36-405°C). With silica-alumina, all of the polyethylenes were converted to liquid products with high yields (77-83 wt%) and without any wax production. The liquid products were distributed in the range of n-C5 to n-C20 (mostly C5-C12). A solid acid catalyst indiscriminately degraded the various types of polyethylene into light fuel oil with an improved rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalPolymer Degradation and Stability
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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