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      Elemental and Thermogravimetric Analysis of Plastic-Paper Composites as Refuse-derived Fuels for Energy Generation.

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            Waste generation in Nigerian cities continue to rise with increasing population. Where and how to effectively and efficiently channel these wastes remains a serious challenge for the nation. In this study, plastic and paper waste samples were collected – as received, dried and sorted manually into sub-fractions, pulverized and homogenized in prescribed mixing ratio by weight, and compacted into briquettes. The elemental analysis to determine the carbon (C), hydrogen (H), nitrogen (N), sulphur (S), and oxygen (O) content of the samples was carried out in accordance with ASTM D3176-15 standard using an element analyzer. While, thermogravimetric tests were performed on the samples in a thermal analyser according to IUPAC procedure. The results revealed that; plastic –paper composite samples in the group exhibited a lower elemental carbon and hydrogen than the pure (PL100) plastic benchmark; the tested composite samples displayed a comparably higher presence of elemental oxygen, with exception of the composite sample with 25wt%. of paper; it was evident that plastic-paper composite samples with 25 wt%., 50wt%., and 75wt%. of paper exhibited 0.08 %, 0.04 %, and trace % increase in sulphur content, while for sample with 100wt%. of paper showed a decrease in elemental sulphur by 0.04wt%. Based on the peak temperature at the maximum weight loss rate indicating sample combustibility, samples PL100 with DTG peak temperatures (417.08- 474.62 oC), PL50+PA50 (383.27- 441.47 oC) and PL75+PA25 (373.70- 426.41 oC) are more combustible than samples PL5+PA95 (322.52+ 402.05 oC) and PA100 (367.48 oC), and would be recommended for use as refuse-derived fuel for on account of their energy recovery potentials.


            Author and article information

            ScienceOpen Preprints
            8 May 2022
            [1 ] Dept. of Mech/Prod Engineering, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.
            [2 ] Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.
            Author notes

            This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .

            NIL NIL

            All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article (and its supplementary information files).
            Plastic-paper composites,elemental analysis,thermogravimetric analysis,peak temperature


            Please provide full affiliation, including country of origin.


            For clarity and scientific rigor, include the samples acronyms before providing their results samples with 25 wt%. (PL75+PA25) and so on.


            Could you provide more recent data for your waste composition in Table 1? FMEnv (2004) is nearly 20 years old information.

            Materials and Methods

            Include caption for figures in section 2.1 and number it accordingly in a crescent order with the rest of the manuscript’s figures.

            Table 1 should be named Table 2.

            Figures in section 2.3 must also be captioned and numbered.

            Results and Discussions

            Values in Figure 1 are not clearly distinguished and as exact figures to the second decimal number are not visible on the axis.

            Would you expect a different result than plastic having the highest Carbon content? And why?

            Anonymous authors are not acceptable in scientific publication, refer to another study.

            Again sulfur content values are not visible in Figure 1 and the extremely low quantities can be questioned as instrument variability, can you provide the sensibility of the equipment used to analyse the samples and include them in Materials and Methods?

            Subsections in this section should be renamed as 3.1, 3.2, etc. and not i, ii, etc.

            Is there any particular reason to include the stages of coal oxidation? How relevant is this information to this study on Paper/Plastic? 

            Can you recheck the temperatures for polymers degradation in air and inert gas, 300C and 500C respectively?

            How do you relate the samples’ chemical composition to their thermal behaviour? This should be better discussed in the manuscript and possibly a sentence included in conclusions and abstract sections.


            2022-07-06 17:24 UTC

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