Comparative Study of Hydrothermal Decomposition of Virgin and Recycled Polypropylene
Irgolic, Mihael
Colnik, Maja
Kotnik, Petra
Cucek, Lidija
Škerget, Mojca

How to Cite

Irgolic M., Colnik M., Kotnik P., Cucek L., Škerget M., 2023, Comparative Study of Hydrothermal Decomposition of Virgin and Recycled Polypropylene, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 103, 727-732.


Plastics are widely used due to their versatile properties and numerous applications. However, the proper management of plastic waste is a major challenge, even though it is recyclable. The process of repeated recycling can cause the quality of the material to decrease as unwanted contaminants and pollutants increase. This can affect the chemical recycling of plastics at the end of their life and the recovery of secondary products that can be used in other applications. In this study, the chemical degradation of virgin polypropylene (vPP) and recycled polypropylene (rPP) was investigated in supercritical water at a temperature of 450 °C and a reaction time of 15 to 240 min. The oil phase was the primary decomposition product and was obtained in high yield, which reached a maximum after 30 min of reaction time and was 96.9 % for vPP and 94.5 % for rPP. The results of our study show that there are some differences in the product composition depending on which material (vPP or rPP) is chemically recycled.