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Hydrolytic Depolymerization of PET in a Microwave Reactor

Authors

  • Mohammad Nahid Siddiqui,

    1. Chemistry Department, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
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  • Dimitris S. Achilias,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Organic Chemical Technology, Department of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece
    • Laboratory of Organic Chemical Technology, Department of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece.
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  • Halim Hamid Redhwi,

    1. Chemical Engineering Department, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
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  • Dimitris N. Bikiaris,

    1. Laboratory of Organic Chemical Technology, Department of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece
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  • Konstantinos–Alexandros G. Katsogiannis,

    1. Laboratory of Organic Chemical Technology, Department of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece
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  • George P. Karayannidis

    1. Laboratory of Organic Chemical Technology, Department of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece
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Abstract

Recycling of PET was examined using hydrolytic depolymerization in an alkaline solution under microwave irradiation. The reaction was carried out in a sealed microwave reactor in which the pressure and temperature were controlled and recorded. The main products were the monomers TPA and EG. The effect of reaction temperature, time, amount of PET and alkaline concentration on the degree of PET depolymerization and TPA recovery was investigated. Microwave irradiation was found to reduce the time needed to achieve a specific degradation of PET significantly, with almost complete depolymerization occurring in 30 min at 180 °C and only 46 W of microwave power. Using a phase transfer catalyst (TOMAB) resulted in the same amount of unreacted PET but at significantly lower depolymerization temperatures.

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