Chemical upcycling of poly(bisphenol A carbonate) to vinylene carbonates through organocatalysis

Monday, July 17th 2023

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BOYRON Olivier and NORSIC Sébastien are co-authors of a publication in the journal Green Chemistry.

You can read the CNRS article on this publication here.


Congratulations to them and here is a summary of the publication :

Polycarbonates have excellent physical, chemical and mechanical properties, such as heat resistance, transparency and lightness. Their applications range from electronics to automobiles, from optics (CDs and DVDs) to protective equipment (safety glasses). Polycarbonate is widely industrialized, but still little recycled. Most of it is burned or ends up in landfills, where it gradually degrades into bisphenol A, a proven endocrine disruptor that affects both health and the environment. It is therefore important to implement chemical recycling strategies aimed at reforming monomers or other high value-added products.

In this context, chemists from the Institut de Chimie et Biochimie Moléculaires et Supramoléculaires and the CP2M have developed a new method for depolymerizing poly(bisphenol A carbonate) using alpha-hydroxyketones. The process, catalyzed by an organocatalyst operates at room temperature in a "green" solvent. Under these conditions, we were able to regenerate the original monomer.

This new recycling strategy, reported in the review Green Chemistry, has already proved effective in depolymerizing the polycarbonate contained in used materials such as CD-ROMs, safety glasses and polycarbonate insulation sheets.