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Plastic Reprocessing for Organics and Synthetics using Plasma for Energy Redundancy/ Resources

Project description

The plasma-assisted depolymerisation of plastics unleashes constituents for chemicals and fuels

The environmental persistence of plastics after use is creating a growing health and environmental challenge. Recycling efforts have focused primarily on re-extrusion into similar products and mechanical processing into secondary raw materials or products of similar chemical structure. A tremendous opportunity exists in chemical recovery and energy recovery from plastic waste, enabling use of constituents for chemicals and fuels. This requires depolymerisation. Research into pyrolysis of plastics has been growing rapidly over the last couple decades. With the support of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Programme, the PROSPER project will harness plasma for process intensification, delivering an innovative plasma-assisted spouted bed pyrolysis reactor to enable a truly circular economy of plastics.


Our lives are materialistically and perhaps literally wrapped in plastic since its use in 1940s and expected consumption would increasingly be 720 million tons by 2040. In 2018, the European Commission (EU) and the EU Strategy for Plastics in the Circular Economy established the main goals for plastic design, manufacture, use, re-use, and end-of-life management by 2030. Nearly 10 % municipal solid waste is plastic out of which nearly 20 % is being landfilled causing geological and environmental instability. In spite of numerous methods for recycling of plastic waste, only primary recycling (re-extrusion) and secondary recycling (mechanical) are well-established. The most challenges are in the large scale implementation of tertiary recycling (chemical recovery) and quaternary recycling (energy recovery) of plastic waste. Further, converting plastic waste into building block molecules, fuels and energy remains a substantial challenge. For these reason, depolymerization of plastic via arc plasma gasification and pyrolysis has been the attractive choice for researchers and technology developers. Armenise et. al. shows the highest cluster of research on pyrolysis of plastic has happened worldwide in last 2 decades. Design of a pyrolysis reactor and the fixing up of the process parameters have been the key bottleneck for the success of the efficient pyrolysis of plastics. Fluidized/ spouted bed reactors are the top most choices for the plastic pyrolysis process. A plasma reactor has shown significant improvement in the process intensification the for the better heat treatment resulting highly desirable organic products such as H2, CO, CH4, C2H4, C2H2 and other smaller hydrocarbons as the renewable energy source. A new Plasma assisted Spouted Bed Pyrolysis Reactor (PSBPR) will be designed and tested for cost effective deployment in industrial use.


Net EU contribution
€ 181 152,96
48940 Leioa

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Noreste País Vasco Bizkaia
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data