Reaction Kinetics, Mechanisms and Catalysis

, Volume 99, Issue 1, pp 5–15 | Cite as

Using simultaneous DSC/TG to analyze the kinetics of polyethylene degradation—catalytic cracking using HY and HZSM-5 zeolites

  • Anabela Coelho
  • Luís Costa
  • Maria das Mercês Marques
  • Isabel Fonseca
  • Maria Amélia Lemos
  • Francisco Lemos


High-density polyethylene (HDPE) was cracked over HZSM-5 and HY zeolites and the reaction was followed using simultaneous thermogravimetry (TG) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and was compared with the degradation of the same material in the absence of an added catalyst. The products obtained in the degradation reaction were analyzed by gas chromatography. The simultaneous use of the signals from the TG and DSC allowed an accurate description of the thermal and catalytic degradation of the polymer by application of a novel kinetic model that correlates the two signals that are measured. The kinetic parameters were estimated by fitting this model to the experimental data obtained by TG and DSC. For both zeolites, the polymer degradation takes place at lower temperatures when compared with pure thermal degradation. It was also observed that the two zeolites have a distinct influence on the product distribution.


Polyethylene Kinetic modeling Degradation TG/DSC Zeolites 



The authors wish to thank Borealis for the kind gifts of high-density polyethylene samples used in this work.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anabela Coelho
    • 1
  • Luís Costa
    • 1
  • Maria das Mercês Marques
    • 2
  • Isabel Fonseca
    • 3
  • Maria Amélia Lemos
    • 1
  • Francisco Lemos
    • 1
  1. 1.IBB – Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre for Biological and Chemical Engineering, Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversidade Técnica de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.CQE – Centro de Química EstruturalInstituto Superior TécnicoLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Campus da CaparicaREQUIMTE-CQFB – Universidade Nova de LisboaCaparicaPortugal

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