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Conversion of waste polypropylene into hydrocarbon fuel – analysis of the effect of batch size on reaction time and liquid yield

Authors:

E. P. Rohan ,

University of Ruhuna, LK
About E. P.
B.Sc.Eng. (Ruhuna), Mphil. Candidate
(Ruhuna), Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
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N. K. Hettiarachchi,

University of Ruhuna, LK
About N. K.

Dr., B.Sc.Eng. (Hons) (Moratuwa), M.Eng and D.Eng (Kobe University, Japan)

Senior Lecturer, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

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B. Sumith

University of Ruhuna, LK
About B.

B.Sc.Eng. (Moratuwa), M.Eng and D.Eng
(Tsukuba University, Japan)

Senior Lecturer, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

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Abstract

Conversion of waste plastics (Polypropylene) into hydrocarbon fuel was investigated by using a reactor system which consists of a reactor, a condenser and a liquid-gas separator. A maximum waste to fuel conversion of over 99% has been achieved with approximately 47% of liquid yield and 52% of gas yield. The liquids and gasses obtained from the experiments were analysed using a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer unit (GC/MS). Analysis results show that the escaped gas is non condensable at ambient temperature and mainly consists of methane, propylene, isobutane and isobutylene. The analysis results also show that the liquid obtained in the experiments consists of many linear, branched and aromatics hydrocarbon compounds in the range of C5 to C10.

Waste polypropylene samples different in weight were used for the experiments to investigate the effects of batch size on the reaction time and the liquid yield at near atmospheric slightly positive pressure. No N2 purging or vacuuming of the reaction zone was used at the start of the experiments. The experimental results showed that the percentage of liquid yield increase with the increase of batch size. The experimental results also showed that the reaction time of 500 g batch size was 100 minutes and that was increased approximately by 15 minutes for every additional 500 g of sample fed into the reactor in respective batches.

 

ENGINEER, Vol. 48, No.03, pp. 45-56 2015
DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/engineer.v48i3.6841
How to Cite: Rohan, E.P., Hettiarachchi, N.K. & Sumith, B., (2015). Conversion of waste polypropylene into hydrocarbon fuel – analysis of the effect of batch size on reaction time and liquid yield. Engineer: Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka. 48(3), pp.45–56. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/engineer.v48i3.6841
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Published on 29 Jul 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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