Department of Chemical Engineering
Sultan M. Al-Salem' Webpage
Phone: +44 (0)20 7679 7868
Department of Chemical Engineering
University College London
London WC1E 7JE
Sultan M. Al-Salem graduated in Chemical Engineering from Kuwait University, College of Engineering & Petroleum, holding BSc (2005)
and MSc (2007) degrees, where he started his career as a teaching
assistant (full-time grad student) and a research engineer. He then joined the Petrochemicals Processes Program Element in the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) as a Research Assistant in August, 2006.
His work experience has linked him with a number of projects in the crude
oil refining and petrochemicals field, air pollutants monitoring,
dispersion and chemical mass balance (CMB) modelling, cancer risk and
environmental impact assessment. He joined the department of Chemical Engineering
(UCL) in 2008 as a PhD student, with a scholarship sponsored by the
government of the State of Kuwait through KISR.
Title: Thermo-Chemical Treatment (TCT) of Polymers in Multi-Scale Reactors: A Kinetics and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Study
Supervisors: Dr Paola Lettieri and Dr Lazaros Papageorgiou
The main reason behind the success of the petrochemicals industry is not only due to the vast array of products it provides and are considered beneficial to our daily lives, but also in the added value that it brings to the crude oil barrel, making it an unmistaken venture to concerned parties. This was witnessed back in 2009, when the trend of oil and gas processes integration became a more popular choice in regions with cheap supply of feedstock. Yet, the industry is faced with a fluctuating market and an unstable economy, which makes it imperative to find a more abundant and sustainable resources.Of all petrochemical derived products, polymers occupy the major share. This alternatively, makes the plastic industry a growing sector in processing and conversion terms. Both, virgin and waste plastics present themselves as an advantageous source of energy and product recovery. Being a crude oil product, polymers posses a high calorific value when thermally treated, ranging from 31.8 MJ Kg-1 (household mixtures of plastic) to 46.5 MJ Kg-1 (polyethylene).
The objective of this project is to investigate the thermal degradation mechanisms of commercial grade polymers and end-of-life tyres (ELTs)
in micro scale thermogravimetric set-ups (fixed bed reactors) in inert atmospheres (i.e. pyrolysis) and identifying lumped products
resulting from such processes in moderate to elevated temperature ranges. A
novel mathematical model (including primary, secondary and tertiary depolymerization reactions) that accounts for the degradation behaviour of
a polymer type is the ultimate goal, in which desired reactions (eliminating
side reactions) and products (refinery cuts and petrochemicals
substitutes) could be promoted.
The project also looks at building scenarios that introduces TCT pilot and industrial units and incinerators (mass burning units) for the greater London area, with the aid of an optimization software (GAMS). A clean materials recovery facility (MRF) is also considered, for the benefit of sorting different streams of input materials for feed quality. Linear programming (LP) methodology is chosen to optimize environmental and energy burdens; and have the optimal scenario in terms of different economies of scale.
- Lettieri, P. and Al-Salem, S.M., 2011. Thermo-Chemical Treatment of Plastic Solid Waste, Chapter in ‘Handbook of Waste Management and Recycling’, Edited by: Trevor Letcher; Daniel Vallero, Elsevier, ISBN: 978-0-12381-475-3.
- Al-Salem, S.M., Lettieri, P., Baeyens, J., 2010. The valorization of plastic solid waste (PSW) by primary to quaternary routes: From re-use to energy and chemicals, Progress in Energy & Combustion Science, 36(1); 103-129.
- Al-Salem, S.M., Lettieri, P. and Baeyens, J., 2009. Kinetics and product distribution of end of life tyres (ELTs) pyrolysis: A novel approach in polyisoprene and SBR thermal cracking, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 172(2-3); 1690-1694.
- Al-Salem, S.M., Lettieri, P. and Baeyens, J., 2009. Recycling and recovery routes of plastic solid waste (PSW): A review, Waste Management, 29(10); 2625-2643.
- Al-Salem, S.M., Lettieri, P. and Baeyens, J., 2009. Thermal pyrolysis of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), In: Proc 9th European Gasification Conference: Clean energy and chemicals, Düsseldorf, Germany, 23rd-25th March. (Third prize winner)
- Al-Salem, S.M., 2009. Establishing an Integrated Databank for Plastic Manufacturers and Converters in Kuwait, Waste Management, 29(1); 479-484.
- Al-Salem, S.M., 2009. Influence of natural and accelerated weathering on various formulations of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) films, Materials & Design, 30(5); 1729-1736.
- Al-Salem, S.M., Al-Haddad, A.A. and Khan, A.R., 2008. Primary pollutants monitoring and modelling using chemical mass balance (CMB) around Fahaheel residential area, American Journal of Environmental Sciences, 4(1);13-21.
- Khan, A. and Al-Salem, S., 2007. Seasonal variation effect on airborne pollutants in an urban area of the state of Kuwait, Journal of Environmental Research & Development, 1(3); 215-218.
- Al-Salem, S.M. and Bouhamrah, W.S., 2006. Ambient concentrations of benzene and other VOCs at typical industrial sites in Kuwait and their cancer risk assessment, Research Journal of Chemistry & Environment, 10(3); 42-46.
Page last modified on 15 sep 11 09:41