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Fields & Applications Gas Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry, Polymers

Pyrolysis of Polycarbonate in a Steam Environment


This application note investigates the thermal decomposition of Polycarbonate with the presence of steam.


The effects of steam pyrolysis has been studied for both fuel and recycling applications. For example, steam pyrolysis of biomass as an approach for bio-oil production and upgrading has been examined, showing that steam affects the yields and chemical nature of gas, liquid, and char of biomass1. On the recycling side, pyrolysis of polycarbonate in the presence of water has been studied, where pyrolysis of polycarbonate can yield some valuable monomer material, but often with too many by-products. On the other hand, hydrolysis of polycarbonate has been shown to increase monomer material2. In this application, pyrolysis of Lexan (poly(bisophenol A carbonate)) was studied under different inert and reactive pyrolysis conditions, including temperature ramps, and the presence of steam as a reactant gas.

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