Seeking Partners in Developing Eco-friendly PET Chemical Recycling Technology

Abstract/Technology Overview

The world environment is being destroyed by indiscriminate waste disposal. Many enterprises have developed innovative waste treatment technologies.

A South Korean-based company has developed the Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) chemical recycling technology. PET waste is usually originated from beverage bottles, plastic film and fibers. In general there are two methods of recycling PET waste: direct materials recycling and chemical recycling.

Unlike direct material recycle method that converts waste PET into small pieces of chips and flakes through pulverization, the chemical recycling method allows the PET waste to be converted and used as raw materials for new PET plastic manufacturing. For direct material recycling, only clean PET waste can be recycled while dirty or stained ones are commonly incinerated. Chemical treatment method works for both clean and dirty PET waste.

The PET chemical recycling goes through the following processes:

  1. Pre-treatment 
  2. Glycolysis: Depolymerisation using ethylene glycol. This process can produce PET oligomer for UPR (Unsaturated Polyester Resin) and polyol for PU (Polyurethane)
  3. Purification: This process mainly increases the degree of purity of produced PET oligomer and polyol. It saves operating costs and minimises the amount of secondary waste. Moreover, high value-added products can be created from the produced materials
  4. The following compounds are produced as the end product - TPA (terephthalic acid), BHET (Bis(2-Hydroxyethyl) terephthalate) and DMT (dimethyl terephthalate)

Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages

The advantages of the chemical method for PET recycling are: 

  • Able to treat all types of the PET waste ㅡ clean or stained 
  • Able to transform PET waste into value-added products
  • Low operational cost 
  • Easy to operate
  • Minimises secondary waste

Potential Applications

The company expects to transfer its technology to overseas markets interested in applying its PET chemical recycling system under technical cooperation and license agreements. Under license agreement, the potential partner can use the company's technology (intellectual property) in any market, and the two partners also can transform PET waste into value-added products under technical cooperation.

The technology provider is also interested in signing a joint venture agreement with a partner interested in co-develop a local factory. 

Thus, any enterprise in need of applying PET waste chemical recycling technology to produce raw materials is welcome for further discussion. 


Contact Person

Franchesca Park


ED Research

Technology Category
  • Polymers
  • Waste Management & Recycling
  • Others
  • Pre-Treatment Processing
Technology Status
  • Available for Licensing
Technology Readiness Level
  • TRL 9

Plastics, Polymers, Recycling, PET Recycling, Chemical and solid material recycling