Emerging Trends in Closed?loop Recycling Polymers: Monomer Design and Catalytic Bulk Depolymerization

Plastics are indispensable materials in modern society; however, their extensive use has contributed to the depletion of finite natural resources and caused severe environmental issues. One end?of?use solution for plastics involves the chemical recycling of polymers back to monomers for repolymerization to virgin polymers without changing the material properties, allowing the establishment of a circular material economy. This concept focuses on the critical advantages of chemically recyclable polymers in terms of monomer design, material properties, and the feasibility of bulk depolymerization. The recyclability via bulk thermolysis of various polyesters, CO2?based polycarbonates, and polyacetals produced via ring?opening polymerization is highlighted through discussions regarding rational monomer design and efficient catalyst development. An outlook and perspective are provided to delineate the future challenges in the rational design of monomer and polymer structures that deliver the desired materials performance while being suitable for bulk thermolysis with high (de)polymerization activity and selectivity.

» Publication Date: 03/02/2023

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