American Researchers Develop A New Process For Recycling Nylon 6 Mar 16, 2023

According to reports, researchers in the United States have developed a new method for the recovery of nylon 6, using the readily available lanthanum trisamide (lanthanum trisamido) catalyst, which can depolymerize nylon 6 in a highly selective and near-quantitative manner without the need for solvents. Monomer - ε-caprolactam (ε -caprolactam) is recovered at temperature. The monomers are sequentially removed from one end of the polyamide polymer, like pearls from a bead chain.

While recycling of some other plastics is slowly accelerating, nylon 6 is difficult to recycle. Melting it into a new form is impossible because it partially decomposes at high temperatures; burning it for energy production is also not feasible because toxic compounds such as hydrocyanic acid are formed; using previous chemical recycling modalities, which have proven to be overly complex and inefficient, or require the use of problematic chemicals.

A team led by Northwestern University and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) researchers has now developed a new, highly efficient catalytic process for recycling nylon 6.

Through this method, nylon can be depolymerized into ε-caprolactam with a selectivity of more than 95% and a yield of more than 90%. At the same time, there is no need to use solvents or toxic chemicals, only a relatively mild temperature (240°C) environment is required. Blends of polyethylene, polypropylene or polyethylene terephthalate will not interfere.

Nylon 6 Granules

Nylon 6 Granules

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