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Journal of Energy
Volume 2013, Article ID 608797, 10 pages
Research Article

Synthesis of Petroleum-Based Fuel from Waste Plastics and Performance Analysis in a CI Engine

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, NIT Calicut, Kerala 673601, India
2School of Nano Science and Technology, NIT Calicut, Kerala 673601, India

Received 26 February 2013; Revised 18 June 2013; Accepted 18 July 2013

Academic Editor: Gang Quan

Copyright © 2013 Christine Cleetus et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present work involves the synthesis of a petroleum-based fuel by the catalytic pyrolysis of waste plastics. Catalytic pyrolysis involves the degradation of the polymeric materials by heating them in the absence of oxygen and in the presence of a catalyst. In the present study different oil samples are produced using different catalysts under different reaction conditions from waste plastics. The synthesized oil samples are subjected to a parametric study based on the oil yield, selectivity of the oil, fuel properties, and reaction temperature. Depending on the results from the above study, an optimization of the catalyst and reaction conditions was done. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry of the selected optimized sample was done to find out its chemical composition. Finally, performance analysis of the selected oil sample was carried out on a compression ignition (CI) engine. Polythene bags are selected as the source of waste plastics. The catalysts used for the study include silica, alumina, Y zeolite, barium carbonate, zeolite, and their combinations. The pyrolysis reaction was carried at polymer to catalyst ratio of 10 : 1. The reaction temperature ranges between 400°C and 550°C. The inert atmosphere for the pyrolysis was provided by using nitrogen as a carrier gas.