Chemically Recyclable Polymer Materials Help to Reduce Environment Pollution

A research team led by Prof. WANG Qinggang from Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), has summarized recent advances in chemically recyclable polymer materials.

The review was published in Green Chemistry on Feb. 17.

The fossil resources-based plastics have been widely used in all aspects of human society, which has led to the production of millions of tons of plastic wastes every year. These plastic wastes commonly remain in the environment for centuries.

Imitating biological macromolecules in nature, a new concept of "chemical recycling to monomers (CRM)" has attracted more and more attention. This concept is to design and synthesize chemically recyclable polymers that can be recycled to their starting monomers or new value-added pre-monomer or chemicals.

Chemically recyclable polymers can achieve the transformation from the traditional "linear material economy mode" to "circular material economy mode" and provide an opportunity to solve the end-of-use problem of polymer materials and a possible closed-loop method for polymer materials usage.

Prof. WANG's group has long been committed to the research of chemically recyclable polymer materials, especially the high value transformation of plastic wastes.

"This paper discusses the development history and recent advances of this research area, as well as the possible development direction and trend of this field in the future. It provides theoretical guidance for the research and development of chemically recoverable polymer materials," said Prof. WANG.

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and The Talent Project Fund of Shandong Province.

Chemical recycling to monomer (CRM) (Image by XU Guangqiang)

Chemically recyclable polymers (Image by XU Guangqiang)

(Text by XU Guangqiang)



Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

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