Recycling Polymers using Equilibria



Another variety of nylon (nylon6) can be recycled. This is possible because it is another equilibrium reaction. The equilibrium is forced back towards the initial reactants thus degrading the nylon6 (this process is called depolymerisation). Later, the equilibrium can be forced the other way to form new nylon6 chains.

A chemical plant that does this can be found in Virginia, USA. The (website temprarily down, an alternate site for Honeywell here - some more information may be found at the Global Recycling Network) has further technical and economic details of their operations.

The nylon6 recycling plant in Virginia, USA.