Strategic disposal of flood debris via CO2-assisted catalytic pyrolysis

Dongho Choi, Sungyup Jung, Min Kyu Jung, Young Kwon Park, Yiu Fai Tsang, Hyun Han Kwon, Eilhann E. Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Recent abnormal climate changes resulted in the dramatic alternation of rainfall and flood patterns in many countries. The massive generation of flood debris, a mixture of soil (sediment), biomass, plastic, metal, and various hazardous materials, poses various environmental and public health problems. This study suggests a sustainable technical platform to convert the hazardous materials into value-added products. CO2-assisted pyrolysis was used to thermally convert flood debris into syngas (H2 and CO). CO2 enhanced the syngas production due to gas phase homogeneous reactions (HRs) between CO2 and volatile hydrocarbons evolved from pyrolysis of flood debris. For improvement of HRs in line with enhancement of syngas production, additional thermal energy and earth abundant catalyst were used. In particular, Ni/SiO2 catalyst increased more than one order of magnitude higher syngas production, comparing to non-catalytic pyrolysis. Synergistic effect of CO2 and Ni catalyst showed nearly 50% more production of syngas in reference to catalytic pyrolysis under N2. During flood debris pyrolysis, compositional matrix of flood debris was also determined by detecting index chemicals of waste materials that cannot be identified by naked eyes. Thus, this study confirmed that CO2-assisted pyrolysis is a useful tool for conversion of flood debris into value-added chemicals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125242
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2021


  • CO utilization
  • Debris disposal
  • Flood debris
  • Pyrolysis
  • Waste-to-energy


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