Ethyl cyanoacrylate is a highly reactive monomer that has been used nearly exclusively to make Super Glue and related fast-setting adhesives. Here, we describe transformation of this highly abundant, readily available monomer into a closed-loop recyclable plastic that could supplant currently used (and often unrecycled/unrecyclable) plastics, such as poly(styrene). We report polymerization conditions, plastic-processing methods, and plastic-recycling protocols for poly(ethyl cyanoacrylate) plastics that make the Super Glue monomer a viable starting material for a next generation of closed-loop recyclable plastics. The processes described are scalable, and the plastics can be recycled in a closed-loop process with >90% yields, even when combined with a heterogeneous mixture of other types of plastic.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
Christy, Allison J. and Phillips, Scott T.. (2023). "Closed-Loop Recyclable Plastics from Poly(ethyl Cyanoacrylate)". Science Advances, 9(12), eadg2295. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.adg2295