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Energy Procedia 107 (2017) 222 – 226

3rd International Conference on Energy and Environment Research, ICEER 2016, 7-11 September
2016, Barcelona, Spain

Municipal Plastic Waste Composition Study at Transfer Station of
Bangkok and Possibility of its Energy Recovery by Pyrolysis
Chinnathan Areepraserta,*, Jarudej Asingsamanuntb, Supachot Srisawatb, Jeerattikul
Kaharna, Bundit Inseemeesaka, Phatavee Phaseea, Chanoknunt Khaobanga, Wichai
Siwakosita, Chart Chiemchaisrib
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Kasetsart University, 50 Ngam Wong Wan Rd., Ladyao, Chatuchak, Bangkok
10900, Thailand.
Department of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Kasetsart University, 50 Ngam Wong Wan Rd., Ladyao, Chatuchak,
Bangkok 10900, Thailand.


The pyrolysis of waste plastic was performed based on the characterization of municipal plastic waste (MPW) from one of
Bangkok city’s waste transfer station. Results showed that heating value of oil product (49, 47, 43, and 42 MJ/kg, from LDPE,
mixture of HDPE and LDPE, PP and HDPE, respectively) was significantly higher than that of the raw plastic waste. Yield of the
oil product from the pyrolysis of LDPE was highest (60%). Energy recovery from plastic via pyrolysis was 75%, 59%, 50%, and
49% for LDPE, mixture of HDPE and LDPE, PP, and HDPE, respectively. Results from GC-MS of pyrolysis oil showed that
different raw materials produced very different sets of chemical compounds, with alkanes and alkenes found in the pyrolysis oil.
© 2017
© 2016TheTheAuthors.
Authors. Published
Published by Elsevier
by Elsevier Ltd. Ltd.
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the 3rd International Conference on Energy and Environment
Research. under responsibility of the scientific committee of the 3rd International Conference on Energy and Environment Research.

Keywords: Municipal plastic waste; HDPE; LDPE; pyrolysis; energy recovery.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +66-2797-0999; fax: +66-2579-2775.
E-mail address:

1876-6102 © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the 3rd International Conference on Energy and Environment Research.

composition study of MPW was performed at the transfer station so that the appropriate type of plastic could be chosen for the pyrolysis test. Therefore. Sampling sources was bulk municipal solid waste (MSW) from the day-to-day unloaded waste truck. nowadays. After obtaining the sample from the transfer station. The classification of plastic type was performed according to the Resin Identification Code (RIC) system designed for material recycling and recovery by the Society of the Plastics Industry. Product distribution was calculated to finally obtain energy recovery rate from the pyrolysis of plastic waste.1. pyrolysis of several types of MPW was done. 1 [1-5]. namely. The sampling process was done in both weekday and weekend to reduce the effect of consumption behavior. 1. Share of plastic waste in municipal solid waste of several countries with its waste generation per capita per day [1-5]. pyrolysis technology gained a lot of attentions since it could convert plastic waste into oil that could be used as crude oil for further upgrading. For example. energy recovery from plastic could be applied to bring back the value of the material left for disposal. / Energy Procedia 107 (2017) 222 – 226 223 1. Chinnathan Areeprasert et al. Thailand. Firstly. (1) Polyethylene terephthalate (PET). On the other hand. especially in developing countries where funding is tremendously difficult and public acceptance on incineration is poor. Introduction Municipal plastic waste (MPW) has a considerable share in the composition of Municipal solid waste (MSW) in both developed and developing countries as shown in Fig. Fig. distillation. plastic waste at the site would be contaminated and difficult for material recycling. Material and methods 2. The plastic waste in developed nation would undergo well-established material recycling processes. this behavior was not adopted in developing countries. The product oil was subjected to heating value analysis and analyzed by GC-MS. or directly utilized with other conventional fossil fuels. However. Japan has a great reputation in waste management system including source separation practice as well as reutilization of plastic waste such as bottle and packaging [6]. Sampling of municipal plastic waste Sampling of municipal plastic waste (MPW) was done at the Nongkhaem transfer station in Bangkok. Thus. This would not be feasible for small city. it would need large amount of daily waste as well as a huge capital investment for construction work. This paper focused on municipal plastic waste (MPW) composition at transfer station and energy recovery by pyrolysis. Incineration could recover energy from plastic waste by producing high pressure and temperature steam for power generation via steam turbine generator. Thus. Without source separation practice. (2) High-density . 2. This technology is adaptable at a community scale and requires significantly lower amount of budget compared to the incineration. plastic material that would have some values in term of material recycling and energy recovery was available at the transfer station and final disposal site.

LDPE. / Energy Procedia 107 (2017) 222 – 226 polyethylene (HDPE). The 8 kW electric furnace was utilized as heat source. Injection temperature was 250 ȗC and maintained at 280 ȗC. OTHER. Pyrolyzer and oil collecting equipment: (a) Schematics. This was the reason why HDPE. Composition of municipal plastic waste Fig. Then. nylon. it was from plastic shopping and waste bag while the LDPE and PP were from plastic bag and food packaging. MPW was taken back to the laboratory for material analysis and pyrolysis test. 3 shows MPW distribution. To start the experiment.224 Chinnathan Areeprasert et al. Helium (99. the major composition of MPW. the sample was cut into small pieces (approximately 5x5 mm. Furthermore. pile of MSW was flatted and grouped randomly. Results and discussion 3.1. and PP.2. The target temperature was 600 ȗC and the residence time for each pyrolysis test was 30 min excluding heating period.6 mm. (4) Low-density polyethylene (LDPE). After the composition study. namely (1) HDPE (2) LDPE (3) PP and (4) mixture of HDPE and LDPE at the ratio of 2 to 1. This composition study was done twice for both weekday and weekend (four days in total). After MSW was unloaded. The height of the pyrolyzer was 380 mm including the cover.999%) was used as carrier gas. (6) Polystyrene (PS). the mixture of HDPE and LDPE was also subjected to the experiment because the segregation of plastic bag was tremendously difficult in a practical way. Moreover. The oven temperature of GC was 1 min at 50 ȗC then heated to 280 ȗC with the rate of 5 ȗC/min and held for 10 min. For the analysis. and (7) OTHER (acrylic. In total. The observation period was in Novermber and December 2015. (5) Polypropylene (PP). Pyrolyzer Based on the composition study described later. Major composition of MPW at one of the Bangkok city’s waste transfer station observed was HDPE. This subsampling was utilized for composition study. The heating rate of the pyrolysis test was 50 ȗC/min. LDPE. the pyrolysis oil was analyzed by gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC-MS Shimadzu QP2010 Plus) to obtain its composition. Its schematic is shown in Fig. PET. MPW was dried in an electric oven at 105 ȗC for 48 h. 2. 50 g of plastic sample was filled in the reactor and nitrogen gas was continuously supplied to ensure inert condition during the experiment. The product oil from the oil trap was weighed and subjected to heating value analysis for energy recovery. (3) Polyvinyl chlorine (PVC). the dried sample was grinded and subjected to heating value analysis (ASTM standard D-2015) by a bomb calorimeter (model 1341 EE by Parr Instrument Company). (b) Reactor. polycarbonate.). . The reactor and its cover were made from stainless steel 316 and the internal diameter of the pyrolysis chamber was 0. polylactic acid). and PP were chosen to do the pyrolysis experiment. and PS types of plastic showed significant amount as well whereas PVC had the lowest contribution. was chosen as raw material for pyrolysis experiment. 2. 2. a b Fig. Lab-scale pyrolyzer was utilized in this study. MPW sampling was approximately 140 kg in total from 44 subsampling. 3. For the HDPE. Prior to the pyrolysis tests. The flow rate of nitrogen gas was set at 200 ml/min.

Regardless of solid products (char/ash) and gaseous product analysis.3.285 N/A N/A N/A HDPE 34. Heptane (C7H16). The rest of their composition was in gas phase. for example. 3.4 41. [7] PET 21. Nonane (C9H20). Table 1. Docosane (C22H46).0 40-40.148 75. the mixture of HDPE and LDPE (45% by weight). which could be recovered as fuel to reduce energy consumption for pyrolysis process itself. HDPE. Pentadecane (C15H32). Tetradecane (C14H30). Octadecane (C18H38). Composition of municipal plastic waste (MPW) by weight. oil products and energy recovery rate were shown in Table 1 compared with results from the study of Miandad et al [7]. Cyclohexan (C6H12).5 3. the number could be used solely as a guidance. mixture of HDPE and LDPE should be focused. It should be noted that the energy recovery rate shown in this study did not considered energy input for the pyrolysis process. Decane (C10H22). Octadecanol (C18H38O). Solid char was observed from the experiment of the HDPE and its mixture. 3. and HDPE (40% by weight). The chemical composition of pyrolysis oil from LDPE was Hexane (C6H14).799 50. Clearly.139 49. Lower heating value (LHV) of raw plastics. For the oil from PP. Undecene . Dodecanal (C12H24O).945 49.7 38-39 PP 42. The highest oil yield was from pyrolysis of LDPE (60% by weight) followed by PP (50% by weight).4 45 PS 39.45 LDPE 38. Cyclohexane (C6H12). LDPE would give highest energy recovery due to its highest yield and energy density. the observed compositions were Pentene (C5H10). Eicosane (C20H42). In a practical way of implementation. Lower heating value (LHV) of raw material and product and energy recovery. except for PP whose HV was marginally increased. Undecane (C11H24). Decanal (C10H20O). and Tetracosane (C24H50). 4. and Nonadecene (C19H38). Chemical composition of pyrolysis oil From GC-MS. respectively. this was the effect of adding low LHV and low yield raw materials (but large contribution in plastic composition). / Energy Procedia 107 (2017) 222 – 226 225 Fig. Cyclopentane (C5H10). Its result was somewhat satisfied even though the energy recovery was reduced. It was observed that LHV of pyrolysis oil was significantly higher than that of its raw material. Octadecane (C18H38). Pentadecanol (C15H32O). Pentanol (C5H12O).845 59. Dodecanol (C12H26O). Chinnathan Areeprasert et al. Undecanal (C11H22O). Raw Oil product LHV of oil product Type of plastic Energy recovery from oil product (%) LHV (kJ/kg) LHV (kJ/kg) Miandad et al.2. Cyclopentene (C5H8).718 46. Cyclohexanol (C6H12O). Therefore.427 42. Heptanol (C7H16O). Octane (C8H18). Phenol (C6H6O). Pentadecanol (C15H32O). a group of substances that could be found in HDPE-derived oil was. Hexadecene (C16H32). Pentadecene (C15H30). Nonenal (C9H16O). Heptadecane (C17H36). Product yield from the pyrolysis experiment is illustrated in Fig.105 42.137 N/A N/A N/A Mixture (HDPE : LDPE = 2:1) 35. Hexadecanal (C16H32O). Octanol (C8H18O). Energy recovery from plastic waste via pyrolysis Two important factors used to determined energy recovery are product yield and heating value in the product. Decane (C10H22).

Waste Manag 2009. Sustainable solid waste management: an integrated approach for Asian countries.2%. 4. Nizami AS. [6] Fujii Y. Decanal (C10H20O). . Hexadecane (C16H34). Nonadecane (C19H40).29:1438-48. Gersberg RM. respectively. Kasetsart University. Docosane (C22H46). The highest oil yield was the LDPE (60%) while the lowest one was the HDPE (40%). and 2. [7] Miandad R. Conclusion This paper studied municipal plastic waste (MPW) composition study at the transfer station in Bangkok city. Undecanal (C11H22O). LDPE. and mixture of HDPE and LDPE. Hexane (C6H14).8%. Naphthalene (C10H8). 102:822-38. respectively. Schnitzer H. pyrolysis oil was. Decane (C10H22).29: 1982-95.4%. Pentadecanol (C15H32O).3%. Dodecenol (C12H26O). 2008. Tetradecanol (C14H30O). Aburiazaiza AS. and PET accounting for 57. Thailand. For the mixture of HDPE and LDPE. 91:1623-33. The mixture of HDPE and LDPE at the ratio of 2:1 that suits the practical situation showed 59% energy recovery.4%. resulted showed that the calorific value of oil product was higher than that of the raw plastic materials in all cases. Tridecane (C13H28). Octadecene (C18H36). 4. Tan SK. Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Octadecanol (C18H38O).9% of total MPW. References [1] Ngoc UN. Bhada-Tata P. Dodecane (C12H26). 4. PP. 17. Process Saf Environ 2016. [5] A Final Report on Survey and Analysis of Municipal Solid Waste Composition of Thailand (in Thai). From the pyrolysis test of HDPE. for instance. Municipal solid waste management in China: status. Undecane (C11H24). Thailand. Tetradecane (C14H30). Sustainable solutions for solid waste management in Southeast Asian countries. Catalytic pyrolysis of plastic waste: A review. Hexadecanol (C16H34O). OTHER. What a waste: a global review of solid waste management. Pollution Control Department. and 5. Rehan M. 2012. [3] Zhang DQ. Various alkanes and alkenes type of hydrocarbon were found in the produced pyrolysis oil. and Eicosane (C20H42). problems and challenges. The pyrolysis of LDPE gave the highest energy recovery rate (75% consider only energy in oil product). Hexadecane (C16H34). and PVC represented 5%. [2] Shekdar AV.226 Chinnathan Areeprasert et al. Oil yield from the pyrolysis was range from 40% to 60%. 7. Acknowledgements This research was funded by the Faculty of Engineering. Nonane (C9H20). Successful source separation in Asian Cities: Lessons from Japan’s experience and action research in Thailand. Hexadecanol (C16H34O). J Environ Manage 2010. PS. Fig. Waste Manag 2009. LDPE. and Tetracosane (C24H50). [4] Hoornweg D. Barakat MA. Heptadecane (C17H36). Product yield from pyrolysis experiment. Octadecane (C18H38). / Energy Procedia 107 (2017) 222 – 226 (C11H22). Tridecanol (C13H28O). 2003. The major composition was HDPE. Tetradecane (C14H30). PP.