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A Critical Review of SCWG in the Context of Available Gasification Technologies for Plastic Waste

End of life packaging is nowadays one of the major environmental problems due to its short usage time, the low biodegradability, and the big volume occupied. In this context, gasification is one of the most promising chemical recycling techniques. Some non-recyclable or non-compostable waste gasification plants are already operating such as Enerkem Alberta Biofuels in Canada or the Sierra’s FastOx Pathfinder in California. In this review, we have examined works about plastic gasification from the last fifteen years with a specific focus on polyolefin (PP, PE), plastics mix, and co-gasification of plastic with biomass. For each of these, the best operating conditions were investigated. A very in-depth section was dedicated to supercritical water gasification (SCWG). The most used reactors in gasification processes are fluidized bed reactors together with air or steam as gasifying agents. Tar removal is commonly performed using olivine, dolomite, or nickel based catalysts. SCWG has numerous advantages including the inhibition of tar and coke formation and can be used to remove microplastics from the marine environment. In co-gasification of plastic material with coal or biomass, synergistic effects are observed between the raw materials, which improve the performance of the process, allowing to obtain higher gas yields and a syngas with a high energy content.

Publication date: 10/09/2020

Author: Benedetta Ciuffi

Reference: doi: 10.3390/app10186307

MDPI (applsci)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.