Degradation of polystyrene using montmorillonite clay catalysts
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The performance of acid-treated montmorillonite catalysts in the degradation of polystyrene (PS) was investigated in this study. The degradation was carried out in a semi-batch reactor with a mixture of PS and catalyst at 400-450oC. The commercial Süd Chemie acid-treated montmorillonite clays (K-series) showed good catalytic activity for the degradation of PS. The styrene monomer and ethylbenzene were major liquid products. The increase of surface acidity enhanced further cracking of styrene dimer and trimer to produce styrene monomer. Higher production of ethylbenzene for K30 may be related to its bigger pore volume and surface area compared to those of K5. High degradation temperature favored styrene monomer production.
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