Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling via steam gasification – The effect of operating conditions on gas and tar composition
Journal article, 2021

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is widely used in textile fiber, film, and bottles. Although PET bottle recycling has made great progress, other PET waste is still not recycled. Gasification could be an option for recycling or recovering energy and chemicals from PET waste. However, single stream PET steam gasification in fluidized bed is seldom investigated. In this paper, individual PET gasification experiments were then conducted in a lab-scale bubbling fluidized bed to investigate how gasifying agents, temperature, residence time and steam/fuel ratio affect the product composition. The results showed that, in steam gasification, steam was the main source of H , but increasing the steam to fuel ratio cannot increase the H yield remarkably. Temperature was an essential parameter. Increasing temperature from 750 to 800 °C improved the yields of H (+87.7%), the dominant gas product CO (+40.3%), and biphenyl (+123%) notably. In contrast to other common thermoplastics, high concentrations of CO and biphenyl are the prominent characteristics of PET steam gasification. In addition, plastic steam gasification optimizations for syngas applications were discussed.


Bubbling fluidized bed

Steam gasification

CO 2



Shouzhuang Li

Aalto University

Student at Chalmers

Isabel Cañete Vela

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology, Energy Technology 2

Mika Järvinen

Aalto University

Martin Seemann

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Waste Management

0956-053X (ISSN)

Vol. 130 117-126

Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Chemical Process Engineering






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