Characteristics of products and PCDD/DF emissions from a pyrolysis process of urethane/styrofoam waste from electrical home appliances

Sung Jin Cho, Ki Heon Kim, Hae Young Jung, Oh Jun Kwon, Yong Chil Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


A plastic fraction consisting mainly of polyurethane/styrofoam waste is generated after separating valuable spare parts and metals from used electrical home appliances. In Korea, such waste is currently incinerated in cement kilns or is landfilled. However, owing to its high volatile matter content, conversion into gaseous or liquid pyrolysis products is a preferable alternative. A pyrolysis process of polyurethane and styrofoam waste from electrical home appliances was evaluated by characterizing the products generated at 500°-800°C. The para meters determined were the yields of gas, oil, and char; the characteristics of the remaining char; and the con centration of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/polychlorinated dibenzo-furans in the product gas. As expected, the char yield decreased at higher temperatures, whereas gas and oil yields showed increasing tendency. The oil products could be used as storable fuels with a calorific value of 6000-8000 kcal/kg. Fine pores were observed in the char. The adsorption and decolorizing ability of the char were almost the same as those of activated carbon, so that pyrolysis char has potential for use as a sorbent. Further feasibility studies will be needed before utilizing pyrolysis technology to recover either fuels or usable products from polyurethane/styrofoam waste.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-102
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Material Cycles and Waste Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was sponsored by Korea Ministry of Environment under human resource development project for energy from waste & recycling and a project related to ASR handling supported by the Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Mechanics of Materials


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