Depolymerization of poly(ethylene terephthalate) resin under pressure



The process of depolymerization of PET resin by EG glycolysis under pressure is investigated. The kinetics of this pressurized depolymerization of PET resin is discussed. It was found that the rate of depolymerization is dependent of temperature, pressure, and concentration ratio of EG to PET. The rate of depolymerization is proportional to the square of EG concentration and faster than that under atmospheric pressure. Glycolyzed products under pressure consist of the PET monomer, BHET, and oligomers, mostly dimer and trimer. An equilibrium between BHET and oligomers is attained quickly soon after the depolymerization step is completed in the case of a higher ratio of EG/PET used. In the case of lower ratio of EG/PET, the final product now consists of higher molecular weight of oligomers rather than monomer, dimer, and trimer.