Preliminary Results showing Poor Potential of Thermo-catalytic Treatment towards Resource Recovery from Waste Biopolymers

30 November 2023, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Menace caused by littered plastics has become a common knowledge. Bio-derived or biocompostible or biodegradable polymers are advocated as a solution. Many reports have raised doubt about their environment-friendliness. Here we attempted several biopolymers to catalytically crack in presence of hydrogen over zeolite-based catalysts to explore if valuable products can be recovered. Very few polymers afforded appreciable liquid product yield. Gases generated neither condense at about 4 ºC nor dissolve in solvent like toluene, hexane, etc. Next, to bring the polymers in contact with the catalyst, we tried to dissolve them in various solvents. However, only some polymers dissolved in only γ-valerolactone (GVL). Due to the solvent, relatively more polymer converted into liquid product. Considerable aromatic yield was obtained from GVL- Cellulose acetate butyrate system. Though valuable liquid compounds were obtained, poor liquid yields and product concentrations raise a question mark on catalytic conversion method. Separation of products necessitates energy-intensive methods.


Biodegradable Polymers
Catalytic Cracking
Polymer Upcycling
Waste Management

Supplementary materials

Catalytic cracking of biopolymers
In this file, product distributions from different biopolymers on various catalysts at varying operating conditions are given.


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