SIMONA NICA, SORANA IONESCU, ANAMARIA HANGANU, MONICA DULDNER, STELA IANCU, ANDREI SARBU, PETRU FILIP, EMERIC BARTHA MECHANISTIC INVESTIGATIONS OF THE ORGANOCATALYTIC DEPOLYMERIZATION OF PET WASTE WITH ISOSORBIDE Glycolysis of PET waste with isosorbide, a biomass derived diol, was catalyzed by commercially available 1,5,7-triazabicyclo <4.4.0> dec-5-ene (TBD) at temperature up to 190°C when low molecular weight oligomer containing at least one equivalent of isosorbide was obtained. The structural assignment of the oligomer product was established by NMR spectroscopy showing predominantly end-chain bonded isosorbide with exo/endo ratio of 55/45. Mechanistic considerations of the transesterification reaction of isosorbide with dimethylterephthalate (DMT) as model reaction revealed that the hydrogen bonding interaction of TBD with this diol is the favored mechanism pathway. This was established by corroborating solution NMR spectroscopy studies with DFT calculations at B3LYP level where it was observed that isosorbide is hydrogen bonded to TBD through both endo and exo hydroxyl groups. On the other hand, the TBD catalyst reacts with dimethylterephthalate at low temperature forming a stable, easy to handle covalently bonded adduct.
Keywords: PET waste; isosorbide; organocatalysis; transesterification