Combined chemical activation and Fenton degradation to convert waste polyethylene into high-value fine chemicals

Cheuk Fai Stephen CHOW, Wing Leung WONG, Keith Yat Fung HO, Chung Sum CHAN, Cheng-Bin GONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Plastic waste is a valuable organic resource. However, proper technologies to recover usable materials from plastic are still very rare. Although the conversion/cracking/degradation of certain plastics into chemicals has drawn much attention, effective and selective cracking of the major waste plastic polyethylene is extremely difficult, with degradation of C−C/C−H bonds identified as the bottleneck. Pyrolysis, for example, is a nonselective degradation method used to crack plastics, but it requires a very high energy input. To solve the current plastic pollution crisis, more effective technologies are needed for converting plastic waste into useful substances that can be fed into the energy cycle or used to produce fine chemicals for industry. In this study, we demonstrate a new and effective chemical approach by using the Fenton reaction to convert polyethylene plastic waste into carboxylic acids under ambient conditions. Understanding the fundamentals of this new chemical process provides a possible protocol to solve global plastic‐waste problems. Copyright © 2016 WILEY‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9513-9518
JournalChemistry: A European Journal
Volume22
Issue number28
Early online dateJun 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016

Fingerprint

Polyethylene
Chemical activation
Plastics
Degradation
Carboxylic Acids
Pollution
Pyrolysis
Cracks

Citation

Chow, C.-F., Wong, W.-L., Ho, K. Y.-F., Chan, C.-S., & Gong, C.-B. (2016). Combined chemical activation and Fenton degradation to convert waste polyethylene into high-value fine chemicals. Chemistry: A European Journal, 22(28), 9513-9518. doi: 10.1002/chem.201600856

Keywords

  • Carboxylic acids
  • Fenton reaction
  • Polyethylene
  • Sulfonation
  • Waste reduction