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The Glycolysis of Poly(ethylene terephthalate) Waste: Lewis Acidic Ionic Liquids as High Efficient Catalysts

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Author(s): Qun Feng Yue | Lin Fei Xiao | Mi Lin Zhang | Xue Feng Bai

Journal: Polymers
ISSN 2073-4360

Volume: 5;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 1258;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: poly(ethlyene terephthalate) | glycolysis | Lewis acidic ionic liquid | bis(hydroxyethyl) terephthalate

ABSTRACT
Poly(ethlyene terephthalate) waste from a local market was depolymerized by ethylene glycol (EG) in the presence of Lewis acidic ionic liquids [Bmim]ZnCl3 and the qualitative analysis showed that bis(hydroxyethyl) terephthalate was the main product. Compared with ionic liquid [Bmim]Cl, the Lewis acidic ionic liquids showed highly catalytic activity in the glycolysis of poly(ethylene terephthalate) PET. Significantly, the conversion of PET and the yield of bis(hydroxyethyl) terephthalate were achieved at 100% and 83.8% with low catalyst ([Bmim]ZnCl3) loading (0.16 wt %). Investigation also showed that the catalytic activity of [Bmim]ZnCl3 was higher than that of [Bmim]MnCl3. Catalyst [Bmim]ZnCl3 can be reused up to five times and 1H-NMR results show that the recovered catalyst is similar to the fresh one. A mechanism of the glycolysis of PET catalyzed by [Bmim]ZnCl3 was proposed.
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