What is pyrolysis?

Pyrolysis can be defined as the thermal decomposition of organic material, such as plastic, through the application of heat without the addition of extra air or oxygen. Pyrolysis is key to dealing with waste because it has the capacity of turning virtually all types of plastics (including previously non-recyclable plastics) into synthetic gas (syngas), or be converted into liquid fuels (such as ethanol), or be processed into hydrogen and methanol – which in turn can be further processed into synthetic versions of crude oil, diesel, or kerosene. The same is true for scrap tires, almost all of which are currently being landfilled. It allows for the disposal of industrial and post-consumer waste while producing valuable products. This makes pyrolysis an important waste management tool.

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What else can pyrolysis do?

Previously non-recycled plastics can now be transformed into a wide variety of products, or be incorporated into steel, cement, tarmac and other materials- all because of pyrolysis! There are pyrolysis companies out there capable of turning 50 tons of plastic waste into 26,000 gallons of oil – per day, which is awesome!

If you want to recycle plastic aluminium laminates, then there’s a unique solution available- microwave- induced pyrolysis. Microwave-induced pyrolysis is a clean, efficient and economical process for both post-consumer and industrial waste. With microwave-induced pyrolysis, heat energy is provided in the form of microwaves.

The process can be configured to operate under gentle mechanical conditions in order to extract fragile materials without damaging them. The fragile aluminium foil remains undamaged during this process. It can be recovered in solid form, clean and ready for reprocessing.

Through pyrolysis, the plastic component degrades to form a mixture of hydrocarbons. This mixture is then cooled down and separated into gas and oil. The gas can be used to generate the electricity required to power the process, and the condensed oils can be sold as fuel or feedstock for speciality chemicals.

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End products of pyrolysis:

Some of the end products of pyrolysis are:

  • Crude oil

  • Kerosine

  • Diesel

  • Gasoline

  • Hydrogen

  • Ethanol

  • Methanol

  • Incorporated into steel

  • Incorporated into cement

  • Incorporated into tarmac

  • Biochar- known as a great soil amendment,  it can be used also as absorber in functional clothing, insulation in the building industry, as carbon electrodes in supercapacitors for energy storage, food packaging, waste-water treatment, air cleaning, silage agent or feed supplement, for drinking water filtration, sanitation of human and kitchen wastes, and as a composting agent.

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