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Polymers

Electrifying the upcycling of plastics

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is challenging to recycle owing to the formation of hydrochloric acid during depolymerization at high temperatures. Now, a method for upcycling PVC that relies on its intrinsic reactivity in a low-intensity electrochemical process is reported, which can be exploited to chlorinate arenes.

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Fig. 1: Coupled electrochemical reactions producing high-value chlorinated arenes from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) waste.

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Correspondence to Brett A. Helms.

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B.A.H. has a financial interest in Cyklos Materials and Sepion Technologies.

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Helms, B.A. Electrifying the upcycling of plastics. Nat. Synth 1, 919–920 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s44160-022-00186-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s44160-022-00186-2

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