Plastic Upcycling: A Unique Catalyst for Breaking Down Plastics

May 27, 2022

"Plastic upcycling technologies are being advanced by a recently developed catalyst for breaking down plastics. A team of scientists lead by Ames Laboratory scientists discovered the first processive inorganic catalyst in 2020 to deconstruct polyolefin plastics into molecules that can be used to create more valuable products. The team has now developed and validated a strategy to speed up the transformation without sacrificing desirable products.

The catalyst was originally designed by Wenyu Huang, a scientist at Ames Laboratory. It consists of platinum particles supported on a solid silica core and surrounded by a silica shell with uniform pores that provide access to catalytic sites. The total amount of platinum needed is quite small."

A Unique Catalyst for Breaking Down Plastics Paves the Way for Plastic Upcycling by Doe / Ames Laboratory

Reference: “Size-Controlled Nanoparticles Embedded in a Mesoporous Architecture Leading to Efficient and Selective Hydrogenolysis of Polyolefins” by Xun Wu, Akalanka Tennakoon, Ryan Yappert, Michaela Esveld, Magali S. Ferrandon, Ryan A. Hackler, Anne M. LaPointe, Andreas Heyden, Massimiliano Delferro, Baron Peters, Aaron D. Sadow and Wenyu Huang, 23 February 2022, Journal of the American Chemical Society.
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.1c11694

The research was conducted by the Institute for Cooperative Upcycling of Plastics (iCOUP), led by Ames Laboratory.