Catalytic pyrolysis of tetra pak over acidic catalysts

Muhammad Zain Siddiqui, Tae Uk Han, Young Kwon Park, Young Min Kim, Seungdo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The thermal and catalytic pyrolysis of two kinds of Tetra Pak waste (TP-1 and TP-2) over three different acidic catalysts—HZSM-5(SiO2/Al2O3, 30), HBeta (38), and Al-MCM-41(20)—were investigated in this study. Tetra Pak (TP) wastes consist of composite material comprising kraft paper, polyethylene (PE) film, and aluminum foil. Thermal decomposition behaviors during the pyrolysis of TPs were monitored using a thermogravimetric (TG) analyzer and tandem micro reactor-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (TMR-GC/MS). Neither the interaction between the non-catalytic pyrolysis intermediates of kraft paper and PE, nor the effect of aluminum foil have been monitored during the non-catalytic TG analysis of TPs. The maximum decomposition temperatures of PE in TP-1 shifted from 465C to 432C by HBeta(38), 439C by HZSM-5(30), and 449C by Al-MCM-41(20), respectively. The results of the TMR-GC/MS analysis indicate that the non-catalytic pyrolysis of TPs results in the formation of large amounts of furans and heavy hydrocarbons and they are converted efficiently to aromatic hydrocarbons over the acidic catalysts. Among the three catalysts, HZSM-5(30) produced the largest amount of aromatic hydrocarbons, followed by HBeta(38) and Al-MCM-41(20) owing to their different acidity and pore size. Compared to TP-1, TP-2 produced a larger amount of aromatic hydrocarbons via catalytic pyrolysis because of its relatively larger PE content. The synergistic formation of aromatic hydrocarbons was also enhanced during the catalytic pyrolysis of TPs due to the effective role of PE as hydrogen donor to kraft paper. In terms of their catalytic effectiveness, HZSM-5(30) had a longer lifetime than HBeta(38).

Original languageEnglish
Article number602
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Catalytic pyrolysis
  • HZSM-5
  • Tetra Pak


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