Polymers (Basel). 2023 Jan 12;15(2):413. doi: 10.3390/polym15020413.
The chemical recycling of end-of-life polylactic acid (PLA) plays roles in mitigating environmental pressure and developing circular economy. In this regard, one-pot tandem alcoholysis and hydrogenation of PLA was carried out to produce 1,2-propanediol, which is a bulk chemical in polymer chemistry. In more detail, the commercially available Raney Co was employed as the catalyst, and transformation was conducted in ethanol, which acted as nucleophilic reagent and solvent. Single-factor analysis and Box-Behnken design were used to optimize the reaction conditions. Under the optimized condition, three kinds of PLA materials were subjected to degradation. Additionally, 74.8 ± 5.5%, 76.5 ± 6.2%, and 71.4 ± 5.7% of 1,2-propanediol was yielded from PLA powder, particle, and straws, respectively, which provided a recycle protocol to convert polylactic acid waste into value-added chemicals.