Analysis of the Energetic Use of Fuel Fractions Made of Plastic Waste
 
 
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Institute of Transport, Internal Combustion Engines and Ecology, Lublin University of Technology, Nadbystrzycka 36, 20-618 Lublin, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Halina Marczak   

Institute of Transport, Internal Combustion Engines and Ecology, Lublin University of Technology, Nadbystrzycka 36, 20-618 Lublin, Poland
Publish date: 2019-09-01
 
J. Ecol. Eng. 2019; 20(8):100–106
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ABSTRACT
The overriding principle of waste management (already produced) is their reuse or use as secondary materials. It is consistent with the concept of a circular economy. Recycling materials and raw materials have the highest rank in the field of waste processing. For non-recyclable waste, other recovery processes also play a role. In the case of plastic waste, economically and ecologically justified processes of thermal transformation and catalytic depolymerisation leading to the formation of fuel fractions destined for energetic use may be useful. This direction of polymer waste processing is justified by the high calorific value of plastics. In the objective evaluation of waste treatment technologies, from the point of view of economics and environmental protection, it may be helpful to analyse the energy balance. The aim of the article is to analyse and evaluate the energy efficiency of using a mixture of hydrocarbons obtained in the process of catalytic depolymerisation of plastic waste based on the energy efficiency index for energy purposes. The efficiency index is calculated as the quotient of energy benefits and energy inputs for the use of depolymerisation products. Energy expenditure includes expenditures incurred in individual stages of the life cycle of a liquid product made of plastic waste. The conducted analysis showed that the energy use in the post-use phase of polymer products allows for the recovery of nearly 40% of the energy required for the production of products and processes enabling the use of waste from these products. Despite the low efficiency index, energy recovery from non-recyclable plastic waste should be considered as a positive action. Plastic packaging waste subjected to catalytic cracking can be included in the settlement of the obligation to achieve the required level of recovery if the cracking products are used for energy purposes.