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Environ Technol. 2003 May;24(5):653-63.

Pyrolysis of composite plastic waste.

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  • 1Energy and Resources Research Institute, The University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK.


Several different composite plastics were pyrolysed in a fixed bed reactor at final temperatures between 350 and 800 degrees C. The composites studied were polyester, phenolic, epoxy, vinylester, polypropylene and PET resins, reinforced with glass and/or carbon fibre. The product yields of oil gas and solid residue were determined together with a detailed composition of the derived gases. There was evidence to suggest that calcium carbonate filler, present in the polyester and phenolic composites, decomposed to form carbon dioxide at 800 degrees C, which was subsequently involved in char gasification reactions. Polyester, phenolic and epoxy composites generated highly aromatic, oxygenated condensable products. There was no noticeable correlation between the composition of these products and the final pyrolysis temperature. The tensile strength of recovered glass fibre was lower than that of virgin fibre and decreased markedly as the final pyrolysis temperature increased from 650 to 800 degrees C.

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