Chemical recycling of plastic wastes made from polyethylene (LDPE and HDPE) and polypropylene (PP)

J Hazard Mater. 2007 Nov 19;149(3):536-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2007.06.076. Epub 2007 Jun 29.


The recycling of either model polymers or waste products based on low-density polyethylene (LDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or polypropylene (PP) is examined using the dissolution/reprecipitation method, as well as pyrolysis. In the first technique, different solvents/non-solvents were examined at different weight percent amounts and temperatures using as raw material both model polymers and commercial products (packaging film, bags, pipes, food-retail outlets). The recovery of polymer in every case was greater than 90%. FT-IR spectra and tensile mechanical properties of the samples before and after recycling were measured. Furthermore, catalytic pyrolysis was carried out in a laboratory fixed bed reactor with an FCC catalyst using again model polymers and waste products as raw materials. Analysis of the derived gases and oils showed that pyrolysis gave a mainly aliphatic composition consisting of a series of hydrocarbons (alkanes and alkenes), with a great potential to be recycled back into the petrochemical industry as a feedstock for the production of new plastics or refined fuels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry / methods
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / methods*
  • Equipment Design
  • Food Packaging
  • Hydrocarbons / chemistry
  • Polyethylenes / chemistry*
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Refuse Disposal*
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared
  • Tensile Strength
  • Waste Products


  • Hydrocarbons
  • Polyethylenes
  • Polymers
  • Waste Products