Chemical Upcycling of Commercial Polystyrene via Catalyst-Controlled Photooxidation.

  title={Chemical Upcycling of Commercial Polystyrene via Catalyst-Controlled Photooxidation.},
  author={Sewon Oh and Erin E Stache},
  journal={Journal of the American Chemical Society},
  • Sewon Oh, E. Stache
  • Published 23 March 2022
  • Materials Science, Chemistry
  • Journal of the American Chemical Society
Chemical upcycling of polystyrene into targeted small molecules is desirable to reduce plastic pollution. Herein, we report the upcycling of polystyrene to benzoyl products, primarily benzoic acid, using a catalyst-controlled photooxidative degradation method. FeCl3 undergoes a homolytic cleavage upon irradiation with white light to generate a chlorine radical, abstracting an electron-rich hydrogen atom on the polymer backbone. Under the oxygen-rich environment, high MW polystyrene (>90 kg/mol… 
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