Rapid Process for Depolymerizing Recycled PET

­Executive Summary

Each year, billions of lbs of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) are discarded as waste. While some of the material is separated, recycled and incorporated into new materials, the degradation of the polymers back to their original monomers (a.k.a. chemical recycling) remains prohibitive due to the cost. MSU researchers have recently developed a new technology for chemical recycling PET and PETG that is fast and provides and economical route to monomer recovery.


Description of Technology

This invention is a novel process that involves melt processing of PET and/or PETG in the presence of a catalyst. The polymer melt is then charged to hot solvent where it is degraded back to monomers and oligomers in short time. By selectively choosing the catalyst and solvent, crystalline domains in the polymer are prevented from forming and the process for degradation is rapid.



  • Rapid degradation of PET and PETG polyesters (1 hr process time at 200oC)
  • Enables recycling of PET and PETG back to monomeric form
  • Economical process



  • Recycling PET and PETG waste


Patent Status

Patent pending. Published PCT Application


Licensing Rights

Full licensing rights available



Resources, Conservation and Recycling Article



Dr. Muhammad Rabnawaz, Dr. Ajmir Khan, Zahra Aayanifard, Muhammad Naveed



TEC2021-0049, TEC2022-0055

Patent Information:

For Information, Contact:

Jon Debling
Technology Manager
Michigan State University