Polyethylene Terephthalate Waste Recycling and Application Possibilities: a Review


  • Virginija JANKAUSKAITĖ, Gintaras MACIJAUSKAS∗, Ramūnas LYGAITIS Kaunas University of Technology


polyethylene terephthalate, waste, physical and chemical reprocessing, glycolysis


This paper presents a review of works that cover PET post-consumer waste recycling and application during last twenty years. It is shown that physically recycled PET can be used in the blends with other polymers, such as high and low density polyethylene, polycarbonates, polyvinyl chloride, etc. The compatibilizers and other additives often are used to obtain valuable blends of recycled PET with virgin or other plastics. Molecular weights of blended polymers must be similar to obtain the compatible blends of recycled PET with other plastics, therefore, additional processes are needed for the lowering average molecular weights of the polymers.
Chemically recycled PET by esterifying the polyester with an excess of reactant such as diols, diamines, alcohols, or water can be used as starting ingredients for synthesis of other polymers. A focus on the production of oligoesters coming from the glycolysis of PET waste that have been introduced as a starting material in the manufacture of polyurethanes, unsaturated polyesters and saturated polyester plasticizers is done. A possibility of new application of acrylate/methacrylate PET oligomers for UV curable coatings, useful for wood surfaces, paints and other applications is decribed.