Our recent work on the deconstruction of high-density polyethylene into liquid hydrocarbon fuels and lubricants received extensive attention from the media.
Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues, which needs to be tackled imminently. Here, we reported a liquid-phase catalytic hydrogenolysis process that highly efficiently converted high-density polyethylene (HDPE) to jet/diesel fuel- and lubricant-range hydrocarbons under relatively mild conditions. Solvents profoundly affect the depolymerization reaction kinetics and product selectivity. This work provided a promising approach for selectively producing high-value products, such as jet fuel and lubricants, from waste PE and other polyolefin polymers.
Design of Catalytic Solvolysis Process for Selectively Deconstructing Waste Plastics
This lecture will discuss the catalytic solvolysis processes that convert various plastics to value-added products such as monomers or hydrocarbon fuels and lubricants. Furthermore, a sequential catalytic solvolysis process, in which an individual polymer or classes of polymers in a plastic mixture is selectively deconstructed stage-by-stage, is designed. This novel process may enable chemical upcycling of comingled plastic wastes without laborious physical sorting.
Prof. Eric McFarland from Department of Chemical Engineering in University of California, Santa Barbara visited our group on April 22nd and gave a seminar entitled “Plan B: Taking the Carbon out of Fossil Fuels with Catalytic Reactive Separation”.
Our first patent “US10252251 Production of organic materials using solid catalysts” was issued. The patent provides a method for producing organic compounds, such as esters, from an organic feedstock that includes at least one of a biopolymer or a lipid.