Synthesis of Metal–Organic Frameworks through Enzymatically Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate


Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) as one of the most produced plastics contributes to global waste pollution. Upcycling PET into value-added products therefore is of environmental and economic interest. Terephthalic acid (TPA), the monomer of PET, is a common linker for metal–organic framework (MOF) synthesis; thus, PET-to-MOF upcycling raises much research attention. However, conventional PET-to-MOF upcycling often requires PET depolymerization with strong acids or bases and high temperatures, which can lead to environmental and energy penalties. As an alternative, PETase offers a sustainable approach to depolymerizing PET under mesophilic and mild pH conditions. Here we report UiO-66, MOF-5, and MIL-101 syntheses using enzymatically recycled TPA as linkers. The enzymatically recycled TPA demonstrated low impurity, and the obtained MOFs possessed comparable crystallinity, thermal stability, and surface area. These results reveal the feasibility of MOF synthesis by using enzymatically recycled PET.

ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
Zhejian Cao
Zhejian Cao

My research interests include 2D materials, semiconductor materials, and porous materials.