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Upcycling to Sustainably Reuse Plastics

Zhao, X and Boruah, B and Chin, KF and Dokic, M and Modak, JM and Soo, HS (2021) Upcycling to Sustainably Reuse Plastics. In: Advanced Materials .

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.202100843


Plastics are now indispensable in daily lives. However, the pollution from plastics is also increasingly becoming a serious environmental issue. Recent years have seen more sustainable approaches and technologies, commonly known as upcycling, to transform plastics into value-added materials and chemical feedstocks. In this review, the latest research on upcycling is presented, with a greater focus on the use of renewable energy as well as the more selective methods to repurpose synthetic polymers. First, thermal upcycling approaches are briefly introduced, including the redeployment of plastics for construction uses, 3D printing precursors, and lightweight materials. Then, some of the latest novel strategies to deconstruct condensation polymers to monomers for repolymerization or introduce vulnerable linkers to make the plastics more degradable are discussed. Subsequently, the review will explore the breakthroughs in plastics upcycling by heterogeneous and homogeneous photocatalysis, as well as electrocatalysis, which transform plastics into more versatile fine chemicals and materials while simultaneously mitigating global climate change. In addition, some of the biotechnological advances in the discovery and engineering of microbes that can decompose plastics are also presented. Finally, the current challenges and outlook for future plastics upcycling are discussed to stimulate global cooperation in this field. © 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Advanced Materials
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to John Wiley and Sons Inc
Keywords: 3D printers; Catalysis; Climate change; Elastomers; Electrocatalysis; Plastic products, Biotechnological advances; Chemical feedstocks; Condensation polymers; Environmental issues; Global climate changes; Lightweight materials; Synthetic polymers; Use of renewable energies, Plastics industry
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Chemical Engineering
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2021 12:25
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2021 12:25
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/69707

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