Reactivity of carbon dioxide during pyrolysis of paper-plastic composite

Jung-Hun KIM, Dong-Jun LEE, Taewoo LEE, Jee Young KIM, Yiu Fai TSANG, Eilhann E. KWON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


Composite materials have been widely used because of their superior properties compared to those of the original material. Separation of the constituent materials is not easy in the recycling process, and such an effort lowers economic viability. As such, this study employed a pyrolysis as a valorizing method for the composite material. Disposable paper cup waste (DPCW) was chosen as the model compound for paper-plastic composites. To offer green/sustainable features, CO₂ was employed as a raw and reactive material in the pyrolysis process. It was proved that DPCW primarily composed of cellulose (outer layer) and polyethylene (inner layer). In the single-stage and multistage pyrolysis of DPCW, the CO₂ reactivity in the homogeneous reaction of CO₂ and DPCW-derived volatiles was not rapid. To accelerate the reaction kinetics governing the reactivity of CO₂, the catalytic pyrolysis of DPCW over Ni/SiO2 was performed. The formation of syngas increases significantly, suggesting that CO₂ reactivity was catalytically enhanced. The generation of syngas (enhanced by CO₂) was inversely related to the DPCW oil generation, indicating that more carbon was assigned from the oil to the gaseous pyrogenic products. The study results would offer a strategic means to valorize paper-plastic composites and CO₂ into energy through pyrolysis. Copyright © 2024 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3447-3463
Early online dateMar 2024
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


Kim, J.-H., Lee, D.-J., Lee, T., Kim, J. Y., Tsang, Y. F., & Kwon, E. E. (2024). Reactivity of carbon dioxide during pyrolysis of paper-plastic composite. Cellulose, 31, 3447-3463.


  • Waste valorization
  • Waste-to-energy
  • Paper-plastic composite
  • Thermo-chemical process
  • CO₂ valorization


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