Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Ezra Bar-Ziv

Committee Member 1

David Shonnard

Committee Member 2

Jeffrey Naber

Committee Member 3

Jordan Klinger


The main objective of this work is to investigate fast pyrolysis of fiber and plastic feedstocks in order to understand the synergistic effect from their co-pyrolysis. In this on-going work, fiber, plastic and their blend are characterized and pyrolysis oil is produced from them in the fast batch pyrolysis reactor. Based on a heat transfer model it is shown that results of oil produced from batch reactor will be applicable to the continuous paddle reactor. From feedstock characterization, chlorine was observed particularly in the plastic feedstock. Thus, chlorine removal method using torrefaction and high shear mixing was implemented and was found to be effective for chlorine removal.

The fiber and plastic pyrolysis oils produced in the batch reactor were characterized in detail using analytical techniques like GC-MS, FTIR, ESI-MS and HPLC to investigate the various compounds. It was found that pyrolysis oil produced from fiber/paper showed two different fractions with top fraction mostly consisting of cellulose and bottom fraction consisting of lignin. For pyrolysis oil from plastic, it was found that it had 60-65% compounds like the diesel fuel.