The recycling and chemical recovery of plastics are necessary and crucialsteps to accelerate the transition to a circular economy and reduce the pollution associated with these materials.
The aim of this project is to develop catalytic systems for depolymerizing oxygenated and nitrogenous plastics into their monomers or derivatives (alcohols, amines, halides or even hydrocarbons). These methods, which enable the carbonaceous matter in polymers to be recovered under mild conditions in the form of chemical products useful to the chemical industry, are still underdeveloped and will, in the future, be virtuous processing routes for recycling certain plastics.
The aim of this doctoral project is to develop and use new metal molecular complexes (aluminium, zirconium, rare earths, etc.) and organic catalysts (boron-based), which
- are simple, inexpensive, recyclable and more selective than current catalysts (composed of iridium, ruthenium and boron), to depolymerize different types of plastics (polyesters, polycarbonates, polyurethanes and polyamides),
- allow, in the case of reductive catalysis, the use of hydrosilanes and hydroboranes, as well as the use of new reducing agents acting by transfer hydrogenation routes.
Finally, we will also consider the use of organic anhydrides to transform plastics into reactive organic compounds useful in organic chemistry.