312. Chemical Conversion of Fischer–Tropsch Waxes and Plastic Waste Pyrolysis Condensate to Lubricating Oil and Potential Steam Cracker Feedstocks

Philipp Neuner, David Graf, Niklas Netsch, Michael Zeller, Tom-Carlo Herrmann, Dieter Stapf and Reinhard Rauch; Reactions; (2022); DOI: 10.3390/reactions3030026 (open access)

The global economy and its production chains must move away from petroleum-based products, to achieve this goal, alternative carbon feedstocks need to be established. One area of concern is sustainable production of synthetic lubricants. A lubricating oil can be described as a high boiling point (>340 °C) liquid with solidification at least below room temperature. Historically, many lubricants have been produced from petroleum waxes via solvent or catalytic dewaxing. In this study, catalytic dewaxing was applied to potential climate neutral feedstocks. One lubricant was produced via Fischer–Tropsch (FT) synthesis and the other lubricant resulted from low temperature pyrolysis of agricultural waste plastics. The waxes were chosen because they each represented a sustainable alternative towards petroleum, i.e., FT waxes are contrivable from biomass and CO2 by means of gasification and Power-to-X technology. The pyrolysis of plastic is a promising process to complement existing recycling processes and to reduce environmental pollution. Changes in cloud point, viscosity, and yield were investigated. A bifunctional zeolite catalyst (SAPO-11) loaded with 0.3 wt% platinum was used. The plastic waste lubricants showed lower cloud points and increased temperature stability as compared with lubricants from FT waxes. There was a special focus on the composition of the naphtha, which accumulated during cracking. While the plastic waste produced higher amounts of naphtha, its composition was quite similar to those from FT waxes, with the notable exception of a higher naphthene content.