Pyrolytic hydrolysis of polycarbonate in the presence of earth-alkali oxides and hydroxides

Guido Grause, Katsuya Sugawara, Tadaaki Mizoguchi, Toshiaki Yoshioka

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56 Citations (Scopus)


The rise in the use of polycarbonate (PC) calls for the development of after-use treatments. In this work, we describe a process for obtaining bisphenol A (BPA), phenol and isopropenyl phenol (IPP) from PC by hydrolysis at temperatures between 300 and 500 °C. The experiments were carried out in a steam atmosphere in the presence of MgO, CaO, Mg(OH)2 or Ca(OH)2 as catalysts, respectively. The results were compared with the hydrolysis of PC in the absence of any catalysts. All of these catalysts accelerated the hydrolysis of PC drastically, with MgO and Mg(OH)2 being more effective than their Ca counterparts. The differences between oxides and hydroxides were negligible indicating the same mechanism for both, oxides and hydroxides. BPA was the main product at 300 °C, with a yield of 78% obtained in the presence of MgO. At 500 °C, BPA was mainly degraded to phenol and isopropenyl phenol (IPP). It can be shown that a combined process involving PC hydrolysis at 300 °C and BPA fission at 500 °C leads to high yields of phenol and IPP and the drastic decrease of residue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-1124
Number of pages6
JournalPolymer Degradation and Stability
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jul


  • Bisphenol-A
  • Feedstock recycling
  • Flash-hydrolysis
  • Monomer recovery
  • Phenols
  • Polycarbonate


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