Feedstock Recycling of Plastics Waste for Electricity or Fuel: An Exergy Approach
Waste plastics contribute to many environmental and social problems due to the loss of natural resources, environmental pollution, depletion of landfill space, and the various demands of an environmentally oriented society. The consumption of plastics waste increases annually, particularly in developing countries. Feedstock recycling of scrap polymers by thermal and chemical methods is well known and environmentally acceptable. However, new technologies for waste utilization as well as the methods that would enable an objective and broad assessment of these processes are strongly needed. Selecting the best method for thermal processing of waste polymers can be done based on a thermodynamic analysis of the process. In the paper, the process of thermal degradation of waste plastics (that is carried out in the new type of a tubular reactor with molten metal) is described and evaluated from the therodynamic poin of view. Depending on the final product (a fuel-like mixture or electricity), the calculated exergy efficiency of the proposed method ranged from 79% to 82%. These results mean that feedstock recycling of this type of waste by thermal degradation is a beneficial process from an energetic and ecological perspective as compared to other processes, particularly incineration.
Feedstock Recycling of Plastics Waste for Electricity or Fuel: An Exergy Approach, International Journal of Materials Science and Applications.
Vol. 6, No. 5,
2017, pp. 250-259.
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