Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Publications

Campus Units

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS)

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

8-2014

Journal or Book Title

Journal of Renewable Materials

Volume

2

Issue

3

First Page

157

Last Page

169

Research Focus Area(s)

Biological and Process Engineering and Technology

DOI

10.7569/JRM.2014.634112

Abstract

Presented in this study is a novel recycling strategy for poly(lactic acid) (PLA) in which the depolymerization is rapidly promoted by the base–catalyzed hydrol–/alcohol–ysis of the terminal ester bonds under mild conditions. Post–consumer PLA water bottles were cut into approximately 6 × 2 mm plastic chips and heated to 50–60×C in water, ethanol, or methanol as the depolymerization medium. A variety of carbonate salts and alkaline metal oxides were screened as potential catalysts. High–power ultrasound was also investigated as a means to accelerate the PLA decomposition. Both mass loss and HPLC analysis of the treated suspensions showed that the conversion of PLA to lactic acid/lactic esters was achieved with yields over 90% utilizing either ultrasonics or a hot bath. It was found that the most rapid decomposition occurred in solution of sodium hydroxide in methanol at 50oC, in which maximum depolymerization was complete in 5 min. It was also seen that the degree of crystallinity affected the rate of depolymerization.

Comments

This article is published as Grewell, David, Gowrishankar Srinivasan, and Eric Cochran. "Depolymerization of Post-Consumer Polylactic Acid Products." Journal of Renewable Materials 2, no. 3 (2014): 157-165. DOI: 10.7569/JRM.2014.634112. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

Scrivener Publishing LLC

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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