Catalytic pyrolysis of plastics derived from end-of-life-vehicles (ELVs) under the CO2 environment

Sungyup Jung, Taewoo Lee, Jechan Lee, Kun Yi Andrew Lin, Young Kwon Park, Eilhann E. Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


As the global vehicle demand increases, the significance of waste materials generated from end-of-life-vehicles (ELVs) becomes more severe. However, the heterogeneity of most components of vehicles made them difficult to be recycled. In this study, a sustainable valorization platform for the vehicle wastes was suggested via pyrolysis process. As a case study, bumper waste was used as a feedstock material. Prior to the thermo-chemical process of bumper waste, multiple analytical tools were employed to identify and quantify the chemical constituents of the bumper waste. Because the bumper consists of mainly polypropylene (PP), pyrolysis of bumper produced hydrogen and different types of hydrocarbons (HCs), and the product distribution was highly contingent on pyrolysis setups and operating conditions. One-step pyrolysis of PP at 600°C resulted in C8-46 aliphatic HCs, while two-step pyrolysis converted the long-chain HCs into C7-8 aromatic compounds in line with H2 production. During catalytic pyrolysis over Co and Ni catalysts, the dehydrogenation of HCs led to rapid H2 generation with coke formation on the catalysts. When CO2 was used as a reactive gas medium, additional CO production and suppression of coke formation were shown through gas-phase reactions between CO2 and volatile HCs evolved from thermolysis of PP. The alteration of H2/CO ratios (>15 to 0.7) of output gas also was achieved, controlling the N2/CO purge gas ratios during catalytic pyrolysis. Therefore, CO2-assisted pyrolysis can be a considerable valorization platform of vehicle waste materials and CO2 by converting them into energy-intensive products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16781-16793
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Energy Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • H to CO ratio
  • carbon dioxide
  • catalytic pyrolysis
  • polymer waste
  • waste-to-fuel


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