Low-temperature catalytic upgrading of waste polyolefinic plastics into liquid fuels and waxes

Yosuke Nakaji, Masazumi Tamura, Shuhei Miyaoka, Shogo Kumagai, Mifumi Tanji, Yoshinao Nakagawa, Toshiaki Yoshioka, Keiichi Tomishige

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103 Citations (Scopus)


A new low-temperature catalytic upgrading of waste polyolefinic plastics to valuable chemicals such as liquid fuels and waxes by a heterogeneous catalyst is presented. CeO2-supported Ru (Ru/CeO2) acted as an effective and reusable heterogeneous catalyst, showing much higher activity than other metal-supported catalysts in hydrogenolysis of low-density polyethylene, and the catalyst worked even under mild reaction conditions such as low temperature of 473 K and low H2 pressure of 2 MPa, providing liquid fuel (C5-C21) and wax (C22-C45) in 77 % and 15 % yields (total 92 % yield), respectively. This catalyst was applicable to hydrogenolysis of various low-density polyethylenes, high-density polyethylene, polypropylene to provide the valuable chemicals (liquid fuel + wax) in high yields (83–90 %). Furthermore, a commercial plastic bag and waste polyethylenes could be transformed to the valuable chemicals in high yields (91 % and 88 % yields).

Original languageEnglish
Article number119805
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May 15


  • Heterogeneous catalyst
  • Hydrogenolysis
  • Liquid fuel
  • Polyolefin
  • Waste plastic


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