Selective Hydrogenolysis of Pre-Consumer Polyolefins to Premium Synthetic Lubricants

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Exploratory Topics
Lemont, Illinois
Project Term:
09/01/2020 - 04/14/2022

Technology Description:

Argonne National Laboratory is developing a low-temperature catalytic upcycling process for converting post-consumer plastic wastes made of polyethylene or polypropylene polymers to premium synthetic lubricants. Argonne’s hydrogenolysis (decomposition of a compound resulting from its interaction with hydrogen) catalyst technology converts these polymers to the desired lubricant product with high selective and near-quantitative yields, and with negligible formation of light gases. Data generated will be used to develop a process flow design and conduct a techno-economic analysis for a 250-ton per day modular process that can be deployed at waste materials recycling facilities.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Jack Lewnard
Project Contact:
Massimiliano Delferro
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Project Contact Email:


Northwestern University
Ames National Laboratory

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