Closed-loop recycling of polymers using solvents

James Sherwood*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Recycling of plastic is an established technology contributing to a circular economy. A sustainable society requires recycling to produce high quality feedstocks from all types of reusable waste. New recycling technologies will help to improve waste management practices, for instance dissolving plastic waste in a solvent to purify and maintain its material properties. In solution it is also possible to depolymerise polymers into monomers that can be used to remake virgin-grade material. In this review the advantages and disadvantages of three solvent-based recycling processes will be considered: separation of cotton and polyester (polyethylene terephthalate (PET)) textiles, chemical recycling of polylactic acid (PLA) and dissolution-precipitation of polyvinylchloride (PVC). The current state of the art and future prospects are discussed, including a brief overview of how solvents are being used to process other types of plastic waste.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-15
Number of pages12
JournalJohnson Matthey Technology Review
Issue number1
Early online date31 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

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© 2019, The Author(s).

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