Simulation of the HDPE Pyrolysis Process

H Eidesen, H Khawaja, S Jackson


Pyrolysis is a thermochemical decomposition of organic compounds such as High-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastics. The product of the HDPE pyrolysis is usually diesel with other wastes (such as carbon black, etc.). A pyrolysis reaction is essentially a decomposition reaction performed at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen.

There are many other complex reactions taking place in pyrolysis, however, in this paper, the focus has been on three main reactions of HDPE pyrolysis, namely: 𝛽−scission, hydrogen abstraction and chain fission. Of these, 𝛽−scission is known to be most dominant reaction in HDPE pyrolysis reactions.

In this work, the reaction equations and reaction constants were defined and solved in MATLAB® using the in-built ordinary differential equation (ODE) solver. The solution represents the rate of the reaction and the product yield.

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