Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Javier Macossay-Torres

Second Advisor

Dr. Debasish Bandyopadhyay

Third Advisor

Dr. Narayan Bhat


In the search of providing an alternative form of combating the complex environmental concerns rising from the rapid growth of poly (ethylene terephthalate) waste in the world, this research focused on investigating the chemical recycling of PET via ethanolysis. Parameters such as temperature, reaction time, catalyst usage and concentration were investigated to promote depolymerization.

In this work, ethanolysis of waste PET under microwave irradiation was investigated using organocatalysts 1,5,7-Triazabicyclo [4.4.0] dec5-ene (TBD) and 1,8-Diazabicyclo [5.4.0] underc-7-ene (DBU). We evaluated the effectiveness of reaction conditions through a series of experiments and determined the optimum conditions as follows: 0.5 g of PET, 5% of TBD catalyst, 5 mL ethanol as reagent and solvent using a G10 glass vial in an Anton Paar Monowave microwave reactor under 190°C for 10 seconds. Significant results were obtained as PET was successfully depolymerized under the conditions studied. The resulting product was characterized using melting point, FTIR, and NMR, and it was confirmed that it is pure diethyl terephthalate, DET.


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