Study on the pyrolysis of polyethylene in the presence of iron and copper chlorides.

Abstract : Pyrolysis experiments were conducted to elucidate the effects of metal chlorides on the thermal degradation of low-density polyethylene on a continuous pyrolysis temperature range of 600 degrees C to 1100 degrees C. The present work focusses on the ratio of aromatics generated on increasing the pyrolysis temperature in the presence of metal salts, iron(II), iron(III) and copper(II) chlorides. It was observed that beside alpha,omega-dienes, alpha-olefins and n-alkanes which are usually observed during the thermal decomposition of polyethylene, the level of aromatics noticeably increases with the addition of metal salts. At high temperatures, the formation of these aromatics took place in such a way that they become the major products when polyethylene is pyrolyzed in presence of FeCl(3) and CuCl(2). Quantification of the effect of metal salts has been tempted comparing the variation of the ratio of aromatics with pyrolysis temperatures. Mechanisms responsible for the formation of these aromatics in presence of metal salts have been tentatively investigated. They are proposed to result from cyclization/dehydrogenation reactions similar to those observed during the thermal decomposition of polyethylene, but with an increased efficiency due to the metal salts.
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Ji Lei, Antoine Hervier, Michel Sablier. Study on the pyrolysis of polyethylene in the presence of iron and copper chlorides.. Chemosphere, Elsevier, 2006, 65 (7), pp.1120-1130. ⟨10.1016/j.chemosphere.2006.04.029⟩. ⟨hal-00904623⟩

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