2008 Volume 48 Issue 9 Pages 1188-1196
National legislation within Japan has increased the need for the development of new process technologies that will utilise various waste materials. The present study is aimed at generating some fundamental data with respect to the application of waste plastic as a potential reductant for iron oxide. By using a high frequency induction furnace, mixtures of polyethylene+Fe2O3 were heated very rapidly to temperatures between 1673 and 2073 K in a stream of argon. Gas chromatography, chemical analysis and X-ray diffraction were used to detect reaction products, which consisted of metallic iron, ferrous oxide, char, CO, CO2, H2O, H2 and CH4, depending upon C/O mole ratios within the polyethylene+Fe2O3 mixture and the experimental temperature. The results were in good agreement with values calculated from thermodynamic equilibrium.