Research Progress on Catalytic Pyrolysis and Reuse of Waste Plastics and Petroleum Sludge

Duo Pan,1

Fengmei Su,1,*

Hu Liu,1

Chuntai Liu,1

Ahmad Umar,2,3* 

L. Castañeda,4 

Hassan Algadi,3,5

Caiyun Wang6,* 

Zhanhu Guo7,*

1Key Laboratory of Materials Processing and Mold (Zhengzhou University), Ministry of Education; National Engineering Research Center for Advanced Polymer Processing Technology, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, 450002, China

2Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Arts, Najran University, Najran-11001, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

3Promising Centre for Sensors and Electronic Devices (PCSED), Najran University, Najran-11001, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

4Sección de Estudios de Posgrado e Investigación de la Escuela Superior dE Medicina, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Plan de San Luis y Díaz Mirón S/N, Casco de Santo Tomás, Alcaldía Miguel Hidalgo, C.  P.  11340, Cd. de México, México.

5Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Najran University, Najran-11001, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

6ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, Intelligent Polymer Research Institute, AIIM Facility, University of Wollongong, North Wollongong, NSW 2500, Australia

7Integrated Composites Laboratory (ICL), Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA


Waste plastics (e.g., polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, polystyrene) and petroleum sludge (i.e., main residual from the petroleum industry) pose a severe threat to the environment and human health. These materials are basically non-biodegradable, and it is difficult to realize the recycling of them and resources via traditional treatment methods. Catalytic pyrolysis as a new recycling treatment method has the characteristics of high efficiency, environmentally benign, no secondary pollution and high product utilization value. This paper mainly reviews the research progress of catalysts used in the catalytic pyrolysis of waste plastics and petroleum sludge. They include molecular sieves, transition metals, metal oxides, clays and activated carbons used for the recycling of plastic, and molecular sieves and M-series catalyst (M=Al, Fe, Ca, Na, K) for treating petroleum sludge. The mechanism of catalytic pyrolysis is also elucidated in this paper. In addition, the challenges faced by catalytic pyrolysis of waste polymers and the future development prospects are also presented.

Research Progress on Catalytic Pyrolysis and Reuse of Waste Plastics and Petroleum Sludge