fabric recycling glycolysisCongratulations to our PhD student, Elisa Rossi, for the publication entitled "Catalytic Fabric Recycling: Glycolysis of Blended PET with Carbon Dioxide and Ammonia." This work presents a practical, scalable approach for recycling PET and PET/cotton fabrics using catalytic glycolysis with ammonium bicarbonate (NH4HCO3). The catalytic method outperformed conventional acid/base and metal catalysis, enabling selective recovery and upcycling of cotton-based materials on a large scale (up to 213 g).

The use of ammonia and CO2 allowed for obtaining high-purity bis(hydroxyethyl)terephthalate (BHET), which was then thermally repolymerized into PET. The reaction mechanism was elucidated via DFT calculations, providing insights into the positive role of ammonia and CO2. The presented method offers a traceless, environmentally friendly, and practical approach for polyester recycling and cotton recovery, promoting sustainable, closed-loop production of plastics and textiles.

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Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale
Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry
Via G. Moruzzi, 13 - Pisa, Italy
Corso di Dottorato in Scienze Chimiche e dei Materiali
Doctoral School in Chemistry and Material Science
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