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Title: Combining Reclaimed PET with Bio-based Monomers Enables Plastics Upcycling

Abstract

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the largest produced polyester globally with an annual production exceeding 26 million tons for use in carpet, clothing, and single-use beverage bottles, among others. Today, only PET bottles are reclaimed for recycling, albeit at a low reclamation rate, with most of the waste PET accumulating in landfills or the environment. In this study, PET is upcycled to higher-value, long-lifetime materials, namely two types of fiber-reinforced plastics (FRPs), via combination with renewably sourceable monomers. By harnessing the embodied energy in reclaimed PET (rPET) and implementing renewably sourceable monomers with distinct chemical functionality relative to petroleum building blocks, the resultant rPET-FRPs exhibit considerably improved material properties and are predicted to save 57% in the total supply chain energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% over standard petroleum-based FRPs. Overall, this study enables a route to PET upcycling via bio-based monomers that could incentivize both improved plastics reclamation and acceleration of the bioeconomy.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Transportation Office. Bioenergy Technologies Office; USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Energy Efficiency Office. Advanced Manufacturing Office
OSTI Identifier:
1615087
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1497986; OSTI ID: 1547707
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-2A00-73030
Journal ID: ISSN 2542-4351; S2542435119300479; PII: S2542435119300479
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Joule
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Joule Journal Volume: 3 Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 2542-4351
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; recycling; upcycling; biomass; PET; reinforced plastics; muconic acid; 1,4-butanediol; plastic waste

Citation Formats

Rorrer, Nicholas A., Nicholson, Scott, Carpenter, Alberta, Biddy, Mary J., Grundl, Nicholas J., and Beckham, Gregg T. Combining Reclaimed PET with Bio-based Monomers Enables Plastics Upcycling. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1016/j.joule.2019.01.018.
Rorrer, Nicholas A., Nicholson, Scott, Carpenter, Alberta, Biddy, Mary J., Grundl, Nicholas J., & Beckham, Gregg T. Combining Reclaimed PET with Bio-based Monomers Enables Plastics Upcycling. United States. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joule.2019.01.018
Rorrer, Nicholas A., Nicholson, Scott, Carpenter, Alberta, Biddy, Mary J., Grundl, Nicholas J., and Beckham, Gregg T. Mon . "Combining Reclaimed PET with Bio-based Monomers Enables Plastics Upcycling". United States. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joule.2019.01.018.
@article{osti_1615087,
title = {Combining Reclaimed PET with Bio-based Monomers Enables Plastics Upcycling},
author = {Rorrer, Nicholas A. and Nicholson, Scott and Carpenter, Alberta and Biddy, Mary J. and Grundl, Nicholas J. and Beckham, Gregg T.},
abstractNote = {Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the largest produced polyester globally with an annual production exceeding 26 million tons for use in carpet, clothing, and single-use beverage bottles, among others. Today, only PET bottles are reclaimed for recycling, albeit at a low reclamation rate, with most of the waste PET accumulating in landfills or the environment. In this study, PET is upcycled to higher-value, long-lifetime materials, namely two types of fiber-reinforced plastics (FRPs), via combination with renewably sourceable monomers. By harnessing the embodied energy in reclaimed PET (rPET) and implementing renewably sourceable monomers with distinct chemical functionality relative to petroleum building blocks, the resultant rPET-FRPs exhibit considerably improved material properties and are predicted to save 57% in the total supply chain energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% over standard petroleum-based FRPs. Overall, this study enables a route to PET upcycling via bio-based monomers that could incentivize both improved plastics reclamation and acceleration of the bioeconomy.},
doi = {10.1016/j.joule.2019.01.018},
journal = {Joule},
number = 4,
volume = 3,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {4}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joule.2019.01.018

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 12 works
Citation information provided by
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Works referencing / citing this record:

Efficient Plastic Waste Recycling to Value‐Added Products by Integrated Biomass Processing
journal, January 2020


Environmental Sustainability of Greenhouse Covering Materials
journal, November 2019