Catalytic supercritical water gasification of plastics with supported RuO2:a potential solution to hydrocarbons-water pollution problem


Here we report on a potential catalytic process for efficient clean-up of plastic pollution in waters, such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (CPGP). Detailed catalytic mechanisms of RuO2 during supercritical water gasification of common polyolefin plastics including low-density polyethylene (LDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP) and polystyrene (PP), have been investigated in a batch reactor at 450 °C, 60 min. All four plastics gave very high carbon gasification efficiencies (CGE) and hydrogen gasification efficiencies (HGE). Methane was the highest gas component, with a yield of up to 37 mol kg−1LDPE using the 20 wt% RuO2 catalyst. Evaluation of the gas yields, CGE and HGE revealed that the conversion of PS involved thermal degradation, steam reforming and methanation; whereas hydrogenolysis was a possible additional mechanism during the conversion of aliphatic plastics. The process has the benefits of producing a clean-pressurized methane-rich fuel gas as well as cleaning up hydrocarbons-polluted waters.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI)
Additional Information: © 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Uncontrolled Keywords: hydrogenolysis,methane,plastics pollution,polyolefins,reaction mechanisms,Ruthenium catalysis,supercritical water gasification,Chemical Engineering(all),Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality,Environmental Engineering,Environmental Chemistry
Publication ISSN: 1744-3598
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2024 07:16
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2016 14:10
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2016-07
Published Online Date: 2016-03-02
Accepted Date: 2016-02-13
Submitted Date: 2015-11-03
Authors: Onwudili, Jude A. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-5355-9970)
Williams, Paul T.

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record