Characteristics of fractionated drop-in liquid fuel of plastic wastes from a commercial pyrolysis plant

Doyeon Lee, Hoseok Nam, Shuang Wang, Hana Kim, Jung Hwan Kim, Yooseob Won, Byung Wook Hwang, Young Doo Kim, Hyungseok Nam, Kyong Hwan Lee, Ho Jung Ryu

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Pyrolysis is a waste conversion technology to solve an increasing plastic waste issue worldwide. Waste plastic pyrolysis fuel from a commercial-scale pyrolysis plant (10 ton/day) was comprehensively investigated using distillation methods by separating the crude pyrolysis fuel to isolate the diesel-like pyrolysis fuel fraction (C9–C25 for fraction 2 + fraction 3, middle distillate). Other fractions were C5–C10 for the light distillate (fraction 1), and >C25 for the heavy distillate (fraction 4). The relationship between the fuel boiling point and liquid vapor temperature were found for designing a scaled-up oil separation process. The diesel grade pyrolysis fuel fraction comprised approximately 70–80% of the crude pyrolysis fuel, wherein it had values of 43–45 MJ/kg, 1–6 cSt, and 12–42 mgKOH/goil. Meanwhile, the elemental ratios of the crude pyrolysis oil improved to 0.1 for O/C and 1.9 for H/C after separation, close to petroleum fuels (0.0 O/C and 1.95 H/C). The highest relative chemical composition was the olefins (46% in fraction 1 and 41% in fraction 2), whereas the paraffin was approximately 15–20% in the light fraction. Finally, the potential CO2 reduction for the plastic waste-to-energy process was evaluated, revealing that a total of 0.26 tCO2/tonwaste of emissions could be avoided during the waste plastic pyrolysis process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-422
Number of pages12
JournalWaste Management
StatePublished - 1 May 2021


  • CO carbon footprint
  • Distillation
  • Fractionation
  • Plastic waste
  • Pyrolysis oil


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