Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Javier Macossay-Torres

Second Advisor

Dr. Mohammed Uddin

Third Advisor

Dr. Debasish Bandyopadhyay


One of the most promising and sustainable chemical depolymerization methods for managing the complex environmental problem arising from waste poly(ethylene) terephthalate (PET) bottles is glycolysis. However key challenges such as longer reaction times, complex separation procedures for the depolymerized products, selectivity, thermally stable catalyst need to be addressed.

In this work, we investigated the glycolysis of waste PET under microwave conditions using 1,5,7-Triazabicyclo [4.4.0] dec5-ene (TBD) and 1,8-Diazabicyclo [5.4.0] undec-7-ene (DBU) as catalyst. We evaluated the effect of reaction parameters such as temperature, catalyst concentration and time on PET depolymerization rate (%PET conversion) and product yield. The reaction was conducted using Anton Paar Monowave 400 microwave reactor at catalyst concentrations (0.5-10 wt./wt%), PET to ethylene glycol ratio of 1:10, temperature range 180-220°C. and time (2mins-120mins). PET was completely depolymerized within 25mins at 220°C using a catalyst concentration of 4.33wt/wt%, and the product was characterized using FTIR, NMR, TGA and DSC.


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