Carbon dioxide gasification characteristics of disposable COVID-19 masks using bubbling fluidized bed reactor

Ji young Nam, Diyar Tokmurzin, Sung Min Yoon, Ho Won Ra, Jae Goo Lee, Dong Hyun Lee, Myung Won Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The global demand for masks has increased significantly owing to COVID-19 and mutated viruses, resulting in a massive amount of mask waste of approximately 490,000 tons per month. Mask waste recycling is challenging because of the composition of multicomponent polymers and iron, which puts them at risk of viral infection. Conventional treatment methods also cause environmental pollution. Gasification is an effective method for processing multicomponent plastics and obtaining syngas for various applications. This study investigated the carbon dioxide gasification and tar removal characteristics of an activated carbon bed using a 1-kg/h laboratory-scale bubble fluidized bed gasifier. The syngas composition was analyzed as 10.52 vol% of hydrogen, 6.18 vol% of carbon monoxide, 12.05 vol% of methane, and 14.44 vol% of hydrocarbons (C2–C3). The results of carbon dioxide gasification with activated carbon showed a tar-reduction efficiency of 49%, carbon conversion efficiency of 45.16%, and cold gas efficiency of 88.92%. This study provides basic data on mask waste carbon dioxide gasification using greenhouse gases as useful product gases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116669
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume235
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Activated carbon
  • Carbon dioxide gasification
  • Disposable COVID-19 mask
  • Fluidized bed
  • Syngas
  • Tar

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