Pyrolysis of WEEE plastics using catalysts produced from fly ash of coal gasification

  • Marika Benedetti
  • Lorenzo Cafiero
  • Doina De Angelis
  • Alessandro Dell’Era
  • Mauro Pasquali
  • Stefano Stendardo
  • Riccardo Tuffi
  • Stefano Vecchio Ciprioti
Research Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Special Issue—Recycling Materials from WEEE


Catalytic pyrolysis of thermoplastics extracted from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) was investigated using various fly ash-derived catalysts. The catalysts were prepared from fly ash by a simple method that basically includes a mechanical treatment followed by an acid or a basic activation. The synthesized catalysts were characterized using various analytical techniques. The results showed that not treated fly ash (FA) is characterized by good crystallinity, which in turn is lowered by mechanical and chemical treatment (fly ash after mechanical and acid activation, FAMA) and suppressed almost entirely down to let fly ash become completely amorphous (fly ash after mechanical and basic activation FAMB). Simultaneously, the surface area resulted increased. Subsequently, FA, FAMB and FAMA were used in the pyrolysis of a WEEE plastic sample at 400°C and their performance were compared with thermal pyrolysis at the same temperature. The catalysts principally improve the light oil yield: from 59 wt.% with thermal pyrolysis to 83 wt.% using FAMB. The formation of styrene in the oil is also increased: from 243 mg/g with thermal pyrolysis to 453 mg/g using FAMB. As a result, FAMB proved to be the best catalyst, thus producing also the lowest and the highest amount of char and gas, respectively.


Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) plastic mixture Pyrolysis Catalyst Fly ash Oil 

Supplementary material

11783_2017_998_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (151 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 151 KB.


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marika Benedetti
    • 1
  • Lorenzo Cafiero
    • 1
  • Doina De Angelis
    • 1
  • Alessandro Dell’Era
    • 2
  • Mauro Pasquali
    • 2
  • Stefano Stendardo
    • 3
  • Riccardo Tuffi
    • 1
  • Stefano Vecchio Ciprioti
    • 2
  1. 1.Department for SustainabilityENEA–Casaccia Research CenterRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of SBAISapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Energy TechnologiesENEA–Casaccia Research CenterRomeItaly

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