Produce Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuel from Plastic Waste

Technology #32450

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Plastic water bottles can be turned into useable liquid fuel
Cunping Huang, Ph.D.
Amit Gujar, Ph.D.
Marianne Rodgers, Ph.D.
Managed By
Raju Nagaiah
Research Associate 407.882.0593
Patent Protection

Methods of producing liquid hydrocarbon fuels from solid plastic wastes

US Patent 9,200,207

Produce high quality petroleum, gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene, and/or diesel from plastic waste for clean energy production.

The increasing use of plastics in packaging, food and beverage containers, flooring, and insulation is causing mounting issues for municipal waste and recycling centers. Some of the common issues with the non-biodegradable plastics are long decomposition periods and greenhouse gas emissions when they are incinerated to make room for more waste.


The method discovered by UCF researchers offers a solution to the plastic waste disposal problems and provides alternative fuel sources, which are free of sulfur and nitrogen contamination. The fuels produced have a lower percentage of unsaturated hydrocarbons (olefins), lower concentrations of n-paraffins, higher concentrations of aromatic hydrocarbons and branched paraffins, and in gasoline, a higher octane number.

Technical Details

Metal hydrides, hydrogen storage materials, can be used as both catalysts for polymer decomposition and hydrogen sources to convert alkenes. The method developed at UCF converts solid plastic waste into high quality useable liquid fuels, by gasifying the mixture of solid plastic waste in the presence of the metal hydride and a supported metal catalyst. The catalyst is applicable to decomposition processes such as pyrolysis, thermal catalytic cracking, hydrogenation, and aromatization, which in turn produce hydrocarbon fuels including liquefied petroleum gas, gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene, or diesel.


  • Decreased decomposition period
  • Higher quality fuel
  • One-step process


  • Clean energy production
  • Waste utilization