Tohoku University. Research Profiles


Chemical Recycling of Problematic Polymeric Wastes



The Yoshioka Laboratory works on the recycling of various polymers by thermal and wet processes. Plastics such as poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and high impact polystyrene (HIPS) cause serious problems during their recycling for the recycling process and the environment. However, these materials can also be seen as a resource for new materials. The decarboxylation of PET results in high yields of benzene that can be used as a chemical feedstock. Another important feature is the dehalogenation of flame retarded plastics and PVC. Dechlorinated plastic waste can be an important source for hydrocarbons, which can be used as fuels and chemical feedstock. The chemical modification of PVC offers the possibility of new materials with new properties. Modified PVC can be used as antibacterial material or as a material with ion exchange properties. The removal of brominated flame retardants from HIPS leads to higher recovery rates of styrene during thermal processing. When a wet process is used, the resulting flame retardant free HIPS can be reused.

Targeted Application(s)/Industry

We are eager to help companies to overcome their problems during recycling and recovery, and provide solutions for the treatment of waste materials.


Graduate School of Environmental Studies

YOSHIOKA, Toshiaki , Professor
Graduate School of Engineering