Selective Organocatalytic Chemical Recycling of Polycarbonate into High Value Cyclic Carbonates
99 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2020 Sneak Peek Status: PreprintMore...
Chemical recycling of plastic wastes represents a greener alternative to landfill and incineration, and potentially offers a solution to the environmental consequences of increased plastic waste. Most plastics that are widely used today are designed for durability, hence currently available depolymerization methods typically require harsh conditions and when applied to blended and mixed plastic feeds generate a mixture of products. Herein, the selective depolymerization of bisphenol A polycarbonate (BPA-PC) mediated by a thermally stable dual organocatalyst is performed to create bisphenol A and a range of added-value cyclic carbonate monomers. Moreover, we demonstrate that the energetic differences in the catalytic glycolysis enables not only the selective and sequential depolymerization of BPA-PC and PET (which cannot be separated based on their density) but more importantly from technical grade BPA-PC/PET blends. This methodology both presents waste BPA-PC as a ‘greener’ alternative for the synthesis of small molecule carbonates and demonstrates the concept that catalytic depolymerization offers great potential for selective plastic recycling.
Keywords: chemical recycling, upcycling, Selective Depolymerization, organocatalysis
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation