Implementing a Doping Approach for Poly(methyl methacrylate) Recycling in a Circular Economy

Mason T. Chin, Tiangang Yang, Kevin P. Quirion, Christina Lian, Peng Liu, Jie He, Tianning Diao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To mitigate pollution by plastic waste, it is paramount to develop polymers with efficient recyclability while retaining desirable physical properties. A recyclable poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) is synthesized by incorporating a minimal amount of an α-methylstyrene (AMS) analogue into the polymer structure. This P(MMA-co-AMS) copolymer preserves the essential mechanical strength and optical clarity of PMMA, vital for its wide-ranging applications in various commercial and high-tech industries. Doping with AMS significantly enhances the thermal, catalyst-free depolymerization efficiency of PMMA, facilitating the recovery of methyl methacrylate (MMA) with high yield and purity at temperatures ranging from 150 to 210 °C, nearly 250 K lower than current industrial standards. Furthermore, the low recovery temperature permits the isolation of pure MMA from a mixture of assorted common plastics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5786-5792
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 6 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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