THE CHEMICAL RECYCLING OF PET IN THE FRAMEWORK OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT


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Abstract

In this investigation, all the techniques used in the chemical recycling of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are critically reviewed according to the overall benefits together with the environmental surcharge that they cause. Those, which are consistent with the principles of sustainable development, are indicated. Experimental data are presented for the acid hydrolysis of PET and compared with previous results on the alkaline hydrolysis of PET with, or without, the use of a phase transfer catalyst. Overall material balances are carried out for the hydrolysis of PET. Finally, it can be postulated that recycling according to the scheme:is the only one within the framework of sustainable development. Therefore, the recycling of PET does not only serve as a partial solution to the solid waste problem but also contributes to the conservation of raw petrochemical products and energy.

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