Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 328–333 | Cite as

PLA Chemical Recycling Process Optimization: PLA Solubilization in Organic Solvents

  • F. Gironi
  • S. Frattari
  • V. Piemonte
Original Paper


The recycling of used, post-industrial and post-consumer PLA is crucial to reduce both the consumption of renewable resources for the monomer synthesis and the environmental impact related to its production and disposal. Several processes are actually available: among these, there is a particular interest on the chemical recycling of PLA with production of its monomer. The aim of this work is to analyse the PLA dissolution behaviour in different organic solvents (acetone and Ethyl lactate) at different water concentrations in order to optimize the chemical depolymerisation process of PLA. New experimental data are presented and a kinetic model is provided for a first analysis. Preliminary results suggest that acetone based solvents (i.e., acetone water mixtures at various concentrations) are more effective to solubilize the PLA rather than the Ethyl-lactate based solvent. Anyway, an increase of water concentration in the solvent phase, determines both a reduction of the solvent power and a reduction of mass transport coefficient for the two solvents tested.


PLA Chemical recycling Organic solvent Kinetic study 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering Materials and EnvironmentUniversity of Rome La SapienzaRomeItaly
  2. 2.Faculty of EngineeringUniversity Campus Bio-Medico of RomeRomeItaly

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