Influence of low-density polyethylene addition on coking pressure

Sonia Melendi, C. Barriocanal, R. Alvarez, M.A. Diez

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Different amounts of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) were added to a bituminous coal used to produce metallurgical coke. The effect of the plastic waste on the carbonization process and more exactly, on the coking pressure were investigated. A movable wall oven at semi-pilot scale was used for measuring coking pressure generated. It was found that coking pressure increases for low LDPE addition levels (1-3 wt.%); however higher amounts of LDPE reduce coking pressure. To explain this behavior different blends of the coal and the residue were pyrolysed at three different temperatures (450, 500 and 600 C) in a Gray-King apparatus. The results show that LDPE causes a modification in the pyrolysis process and also influences the swelling process of the plastic stage. The increase of the coking pressure at low LDPE addition rates is associated with a less permeable coal plastic layer, which prevents the removal of the decomposition products and causes their retention in the semicoke matrix, evolving them in the post-plastic stage. Coking pressure decrease at high LDPE addition rates can be due to the charge shrinkage and the better permeability to the migration of oil components, which suggest a lower interaction between the coal and the LDPE. A delay in the degradation of LDPE is confirmed by the data provided by DRIFT and SEM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-284
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014

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