Catalytic Depolymerization of Waste Polyolefins by Induction Heating: Selective Alkane/Alkene Production

Document Type


Publication Date



Low- and high-density polyethylene (LDPE/HDPE) have been selectively depolymerized, without added H, to C2-C20 + alkanes/alkenes via energy-efficient radio frequency induction heating, coupled with dual-functional heterogeneous FeO and Ni- or Pt-based catalysts. FeO was used to locally generate heat when exposed to magnetic fields. Initial results indicate that zeolite-based Ni catalysts are more selective to light olefins, while Ni supported on ceria catalysts are more selective to C7-C14 alkanes/alkenes. LDPE conversions up to 94% were obtained with minimal aromatic, coke, or methane formation which are typically observed with thermal heating. Two depolymerization mechanisms, a reverse Cossee-Arlman mechanism or a random cleavage process, were proposed to account for the different selectivities. The depolymerization process was also tested on commercial LDPE (grocery bags), polystyrene, and virgin HDPE using the Ni on FeO catalyst, with the LDPE resulting in similar product conversion (∼48%) and selectivity as for virgin LDPE.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Industrial & engineering chemistry research

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.