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Hydrolysis of poly(ethylene terephthalate) waste bottles in the presence of dual functional phase transfer catalysts


Correspondence to: F. Yi (Email:


The hydrolysis of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) obtained from waste bottles was studied. The dual functional phase transfer catalyst [(CH3)3N(C16H33)]3[PW12O40] exhibited outstanding catalytic activity to the hydrolysis of PET. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy were used to confirm the main product terephthalic acid (TPA) of hydrolysis. The effects of temperature, time, particle size of PET and dosage of catalyst on hydrolysis reaction were examined. Under the optimum conditions of reaction temperature 145°C, time 2 h, particle size of PET at 0.5–1 mm and dosage of catalyst at 7 wt %, the conversion of PET and the yield of TPA were almost 100% and 93%, respectively. After easily separated from the product, the catalyst could be reused more than three times without obvious decrease in the conversion of PET and yield of TPA. An economical and convenient process was developed for hydrolysis of PET. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 130: 2790–2795, 2013

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