Chemical Recycling Process Breaks Down Polycarbonate in 20 Minutes at Room Temperature

Addressing the need to create robust feedstocks of post-use plastics, researchers at the UK’s University of Bath have developed a rapid chemical recycling process that breaks down polycarbonates within 20 minutes at room temperature. The process uses a zinc-based catalyst and methanol to break down commercial poly(bisphenol A carbonate) beads completely. From there, waste can be converted into bisphenol A (BPA) and dimethyl carbonate (DMC). DMC is a “green” solvent and component of additional industrial chemicals. BPA, a potential environmental pollutant, is isolated and prevented from leaking.

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