University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Chemical Engineering Research Seminar Series > ‘New Developments in Positron Emission Particle Tracking and their Application in Waste Plastic Recycling’

‘New Developments in Positron Emission Particle Tracking and their Application in Waste Plastic Recycling’

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Plastic waste is one of the great environmental challenges of our time. Recently, a promising new technique has been developed, which converts waste plastics into petrochemical feedstock by injecting them into a gas-fluidised bed of heated particles. Heat transferred to the plastic cracks long-chain molecules into shorter hydrocarbons which are extracted from the system and refined into valuable petro-chemical products. Despite its considerable potential, there remain significant impediments to the widespread adoption of this technology; most notably, while the cracking and distillation processes are well understood, the systems’ internal dynamics remain almost entirely unknown.

In this seminar, we discuss how Positron Emission Particle Tracking—a technique capable of imaging the three-dimensional motion of particles even in the interior of large, opaque systems—may be used to provide new insight into these systems, and hence optimise their design, helping to turn this exciting concept into a commercial reality. The seminar also discusses how recent advances applying machine learning techniques to PEPT may aid this endeavour, and how numerical modelling techniques may be used to take our understanding still further.

This talk is part of the Chemical Engineering Research Seminar Series series.

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