Flexible plastic packaging waste causes serious environmental issues due to challenges in recycling. This study investigated the conversion of flexible plastic packaging waste with 11.8 and 27.5 wt.% polyethylene terephthalate (PET) (denoted as PET-12 and PET-28, respectively) into oil and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). The mixtures were initially pyrolyzed and the produced volatiles were processed over 9.0 wt.% Fe2O3 supported on ZSM-5 (400 °C) to remove oxygenated hydrocarbons (catalytic cracking of terephthalic and benzoic acids) that deteriorate oil quality. The contents of oxygenated hydrocarbons were decreased in oil from 4.6 and 9.4 wt.% per mass of PET-12 and PET-28, respectively, to undetectable levels. After catalytic cracking, the oil samples had similar contents of gasoline, diesel and heavy oil/wax fractions. The non-condensable gas was converted into MWCNTs over 0.9 wt.% Ni supported on CaCO3 (700 °C). The type of plastic packaging influenced the yields (2.4 and 1.5 wt.% per mass of PET-12 and PET-28, respectively) and the properties of MWCNTs due to the differences in gas composition. Regarding the electrocatalytic application, both MWCNTs from PET-12 and PET-28 outperformed commercial MWCNTs and Pt-based electrodes during oxygen evolution reaction, suggesting that MWCNTs from flexible plastic packaging can potentially replace conventional electrode materials.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.