Comprehensive kinetic study of thermal degradation of polyvinylchloride (PVC)

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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


The plastic waste accumulation has been increasing and a solution other than landfilling is required. Due to the high cost of recycling, thermal treatment could be an option. However, the existence of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) would release hydrochloric acid which would cause emission problems as well as damage to the reactor systems. The thermal degradation of PVC has been studied over the years. However, the mechanism of the PVC thermal degradation is not fully developed. Specifically, the mechanism of the PVC thermal degradation at medium temperatures, which is more practical for industries, is still lacking. A degradation temperature of 300 °C was used to study the dehydrochlorination behavior of PVC. A rather comprehensive mechanism with four consecutive reactions has been developed based on the micro-pyrolysis experiments and has been validated and proved by predicting the mass loss, chlorine content, heat content and elemental composition with high precision experimental data in different reactors with/without heat transfer coupling.

Publication Title

Polymer Degradation and Stability