Potential Chemicals from Plastic Wastes

Ravindra Prajapati, Kirtika Kohli, Samir K. Maity, Brajendra K. Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Plastic is referred to as a "material of every application". From the packaging and automotive industries to the medical apparatus and computer electronics sectors, plastic materials are fulfilling demands efficiently. These plastics usually end up in landfills and incinerators, creating plastic waste pollution. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2015, 9.1% of the plastic materials generated in the U.S. municipal solid waste stream was recycled, 15.5% was combusted for energy, and 75.4% was sent to landfills. If we can produce high-value chemicals from plastic wastes, a range of various product portfolios can be created. This will help to transform chemical industries, especially the petrochemical and plastic sectors. In turn, we can manage plastic waste pollution, reduce the consumption of virgin petroleum, and protect human health and the environment. This review provides a description of chemicals that can be produced from different plastic wastes and the research challenges involved in plastic waste to chemical production. This review also provides a brief overview of the state-of-the-art processes to help future system designers in the plastic waste to chemicals area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3175
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • plastic wastes
  • biodegradable plastics
  • carbonization
  • carbon nanomaterials
  • chemical recycling
  • chemicals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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