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.

 

Benefits

  • 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

 

Applications

  • Recycling PET and PETG waste

 

Patent Status

Patent pending

 

Licensing Rights

Full licensing rights available

 

Inventors

Dr. Muhammad Rabnawaz, Dr. Ajmir Khan

 

TECH ID

TEC2021-0049

Patent Information:

For Information, Contact:

Jon Debling
Technology Manager
Michigan State University
deblingj@msu.edu
Keywords: