Polydiketoenamine – Recyclable Plastic
The team from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California has reported the discovery of plastic which is fully Recyclable in a study in the journal Nature Chemistry.
How the recycling is done?
The new material is a plastic polymer called polydiketoenamine or PDK. It can be broken down in parts at the molecular level and then can be built up again to form plastics of different shapes, textures, colours and more. Scientists have discovered a new way to assemble plastics that takes recycling into consideration from a molecular perspective.
The monomers which make PDK plastic could be easily recovered and freed from any compounded additives just by dunking the plastic material in a highly acidic solution. The researchers say this process can be repeated over and over again without the plastic material losing any performance or quality.
Researchers now plan to develop PDK plastics with a wide range of thermal and mechanical properties which could be used for many kinds of cloth, as well as things such as 3D printed materials and foams.