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Designing oligomeric ethylene terephtalate building blocks by chemical recycling of polyethylene terephtalate



The intelligent recycling of plastics waste is a major concern. Because of the widespread use of polyethylene terephtalate, considerable amounts of PET waste are generated that are ideally re-introduced into the material cycle by generating second generation products without loss of materials performance. Chemical recycling methods are often expensive and entail environmentally hazardous by-products. Established mechanical methods generally provide materials of reduced quality, leading to products of lower quality. These drawbacks can be avoided by the development of new recycling methods that provide materials of high quality in every step of the production cycle. In the present work, oligomeric ethylene terephthalate with defined degrees of polymerization and defined molecular weight is produced by melt-mixing PET with different quantities of adipic acid as an alternative pathway of recycling PET with respect to conventional methods, offering ecofriendly and economical aspects. Additionally, block-copolyesters of defined block length are designed from the oligomeric products. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 39786.