Renewable Matter # 28 / July-August

Intelligent Plastic Designed for Chemical Circularity

by Tosca Ballerini

Poly(diketoenamine)s are a new type of recyclable polymer with low energy and water consumption. The source materials are 100% recoverable as pure monomers that can be used to recreate the same polymer or to produce higher value products.


The Brett Helms Research Group, part of the California-based Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has synthesised a new type of plastic polymer – poly(diketoenamine)s or PDKs – that can be completely recycled, even in the presence of additives like dyes, flame retardants and glass fibres. The discovery was published in Nature Chemistry in May 2019.

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