Kinetic analysis for the catalytic pyrolysis of polypropylene over low cost mineral catalysts

Young Min Kim, Sumin Pyo, Hanie Hakimian, Kyung Seun Yoo, Gwang Hoon Rhee, Young Kwon Park

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A kinetic analysis of non-catalytic pyrolysis (NCP) and catalytic pyrolysis (CP) of polypropylene (PP) with different catalysts was performed using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and kinetic models. Three kinds of low-cost natural catalysts were used to maximize the cost-effectiveness of the process: natural zeolite (NZ), bentonite, olivine, and a mesoporous catalyst, Al-MCM-41. The decomposition temperature of PP and apparent activation energy (Ea) were obtained from the TGA results at multiple heating rates, and a model-free kinetic analysis was performed using the Flynn–Wall–Ozawa model. TGA indicated that the maximum decomposition temperature (Tmax) of the PP was shifted from 464 C to 347 C with Al-MCM-41 and 348 C with bentonite, largely due to their strong acidity and large pore size. Although olivine had a large pore size, the Tmax of PP was only shifted to 456 C, because of its low acidity. The differential TG (DTG) curve of PP over NZ revealed a two-step mechanism. The Tmax of the first peak on the DTG curve of PP with NZ was 376 C due to the high acidity of NZ. On the other hand, that of the second peak was higher (474 C) than the non-catalytic reaction. The Ea values at each conversion were also decreased when using the catalysts, except olivine. At <0.5 conversion, the Ea obtained from the CP of PP with NZ was lower than that with the other catalysts: Al-MCM-41, bentonite, and olivine, in that order. The Ea for the CP of PP with NZ increased more rapidly, to 193 kJ/mol at 0.9 conversion, than the other catalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13386
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Bentonite
  • Catalytic pyrolysis
  • Kinetic analysis
  • Polypropylene


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