Simultaneous recovery of H2-rich syngas and removal of HCN during pyrolytic recycling of polyurethane by Ni/Mg/Al catalysts

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Polyurethanes (PUs) such as flexible (cushioning material and sponge) and rigid (different insulators) forms and elastomers (flexible tube and smartphone case) were thermally decomposed at 500 °C. The useless decomposition products were converted into H2-rich syngas and the toxic HCN in it was removed by Ni/Mg/Al catalysts at 800 °C under 50 vol% steam/He flow. The resultant total gas production was 1411–1623 mL/g (H2: 794–967 mL/g), which was almost 30 times larger than that obtained from simple pyrolysis of PUs where no H2 was produced. Meanwhile, there was a drastic reduction of HCN concentration in the product gas from a maximum at 2.8 to 0.2–0.6 vol%. The excellent performance on the removal of HCN and the enhanced H2-rich syngas production is due to the synergy between Ni, Mg, and Al in the catalysts. This approach has great promise for treating a variety of PU wastes that cannot be recycled effectively otherwise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-415
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr 1


  • H production
  • HCN removal
  • Ni catalysts
  • Polyurethane wastes
  • Pyrolysis
  • Recycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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