May 19, 2021

Deconstruction of high-density polyethylene into liquid hydrocarbon fuels and lubricants

Posted by in categories: chemistry, sustainability

Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues now that the rapidly increased production of disposable plastic products is far beyond the world’s capacity for recycling and upcycling waste plastics. Although recent studies have provided a few catalytic strategies for producing value-added fuel and chemical products from polyethylene (PE) waste, the kinetic rates and/or selectivities are unsatisfactory, even with extended processing time (24 h) and high temperatures (280°C). This work reports a liquid-phase catalytic hydrogenolysis process that highly efficiently converts high-density PE to jet-fuel-and lubricant-range hydrocarbons under relatively mild conditions. The application of this efficient liquid-phase catalytic hydrogenolysis process could provide a promising approach for selectively producing high-value products, such as lubricants, from waste PE and other polyolefin polymers.

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