Closed-Loop Polymer Upcycling by Installing Property-Enhancing Comonomer Sequences and Recyclability
KAUST DepartmentChemical Science
Chemical Science Program
KAUST Catalysis Center
KAUST Catalysis Center (KCC)
Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
Online Publication Date2019-06-12
Print Publication Date2019-06-25
Embargo End Date2020-06-12
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/656005
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AbstractThe concept of upcycling postconsumer plastics into higher-value products is attractive, but the challenges remain to develop a cost-effective upcycling scheme, discover property-enhancing structures, and, most importantly, install recyclability into upcycled plastics to enable a circular lifecycle. Reported herein is a convenient and effective strategy to upcycle polyester, exemplified by poly(glycolic acid) (PGA), via transesterification (TEster) in bioderived, commercially available γ-butyrolactone (BL) that serves as both the solvent and comonomer, which generates sequence-defined copolymer poly(GA-co-BL). Owing to the isolated glycolic sequence present in the copolymer created uniquely by TEster, it exhibits much-enhanced thermal stability (≥44 °C) over both homopolymers or copolymers without such sequences. This upconverted copolymer is chemically recyclable, enabling a complete recovery of pure glycolic acid and BL feedstocks.
SponsorsThe work done at SIOC was supported by The Thousand Talents Plan for Young Scholars of China, The Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (No. 17JC1401200) to M.H. and the work performed at CSU was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF-1664915) to E.Y.-X.C.
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society (ACS)