Evolution and kinetics of volatile organic compounds generated during low-temperature polymer degradation

Qin Xiang, Somenath Mitra, Marino Xanthos, Subir K Dey
Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association 2002, 52 (1): 95-103
A method using direct flame ionization detector (FID) measurement was developed to study total volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions during thermal degradation of polymers. This method was used to estimate organic emissions from different polymers, such as low-density polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and commingled postconsumer streams, such as recycled carpet residue and auto shredder residue (ASR). The effects of process parameters, such as temperature, heating rate, and residence time, were also studied. Significant VOC emissions were observed at normal processing temperatures, particularly from recycled polymers. Each polymer showed a distinct evolution pattern during its thermal degradation. The kinetics of VOC emissions were also studied using a nonisothermal technique. The kinetic parameters were in agreement with data from the literature.

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