Mitigation of harmful chemical formation from pyrolysis of tobacco waste using CO 2

2020-07-07

Global consumption of tobacco has been continuously increasing. This results in the considerable generation of toxic waste materials from the tobacco industry and daily life. Conventional disposal methods for them (incineration and landfilling) could be a potential hazard for releasing carcinogens and toxins into our eco-system. Accordingly, an eco-friendly disposal platform for converting tobacco waste (TW) into syngas was mainly studied in this present work. To realize this, pyrolysis of two commercial cigarette products (Marlboro and HEETS (electronic cigarette)) was done under the CO2/N2 conditions. One of the main findings from the present study was that CO2 reacted with volatile matters (VMs) obtained from the thermolysis of TW through the gas phase reactions (GPRs), which provided a strategic measure to manipulate carbon rearrangement of all pyrolysates. In particular, the GPRs expedited the carbon rearrangement of harmful chemical species, converting toxic chemicals into syngas. When the fraction of VMs in TWs increased, the GPR were more effective. Therefore, the introduced eco-friendly method using CO2-mediated thermochemical process could be beneficial for energy recovery from TWs while mitigating the formations of harmful chemical species.

Authors: Taewoo Lee, Sungyup Jung, Kun-Yi Andrew Lin, Yiu Fai Tsang, Eilhann E Kwon
; Full Source: Journal of hazardous materials 20