Aminolytic upcycling of poly(ethylene terephthalate) wastes using a thermally-stable organocatalyst†
Poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) is one of the most commonly used plastics for a wide range of applications, but is also one on the main contributors to the accumulation of plastic waste in the environment. Herein, we propose an aminolytic method to depolymerise PET using various amino-alcohols by organocatalysis and their subsequent use for the production of poly(ester-amide)s. This research aims to highlight the potential of thermally stable acid–base mixtures for depolymerization of PET in the presence of amines, specifically TBD : MSA. The chemoselectivity of the process favors the formation of diol terephthalamides in high yields. Different amino alcohols are also explored in order to obtain diols with secondary amine or ether functionalities. Finally, these novel terephthalamide diols are investigated as novel synthons for the synthesis of poly(ester-amide)s, showing potential for the “creative reuse” of plastic wastes.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Plastics in a circular economy