Plastic waste to fuels by hydrocracking at mild conditions

Sibao Liu, Pavel A Kots, Brandon C Vance, Andrew Danielson, Dionisios G Vlachos
2021 Science Advances  
Single-use plastics impose an enormous environmental threat, but their recycling, especially of polyolefins, has been proven challenging. We report a direct method to selectively convert polyolefins to branched, liquid fuels including diesel, jet, and gasoline-range hydrocarbons, with high yield up to 85% over Pt/WO3/ZrO2 and HY zeolite in hydrogen at temperatures as low as 225°C. The process proceeds via tandem catalysis with initial activation of the polymer primarily over Pt, with subsequent
more » ... Pt, with subsequent cracking over the acid sites of WO3/ZrO2 and HY zeolite, isomerization over WO3/ZrO2 sites, and hydrogenation of olefin intermediates over Pt. The process can be tuned to convert different common plastic wastes, including low- and high-density polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, everyday polyethylene bottles and bags, and composite plastics to desirable fuels and light lubricants.
doi:10.1126/sciadv.abf8283 pmid:33883142 fatcat:gyr2ihywffgf7cnsw3rqczc62i