Electrocatalytic upcycling of plastic waste

Juhyun Cho, Byeongyoon Kim, Taehyun Kwon, Kwangyeol Lee, Sang Il Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Plastics, which are versatile and widely used materials, are being improperly disposed of in landfills or water bodies, leading to significant environmental damage. Traditional methods for plastic waste management, such as thermal decomposition and gasification, require high energy input. Recycling plastics back into their original form is a sustainable option, but demands high purity of recycled plastics and complex pre- and post-treatments. Electrochemical upcycling has recently emerged as a new alternative, which utilizes electrochemical reactions to transform plastic waste into valuable chemical compounds. Its advantages include the ability to operate under mild conditions, the use of eco-friendly energy sources, and increased energy efficiency. This review article provides an overview of electrochemical upcycling technologies for various types of waste plastics and explores their potential for generating value-added products. It also highlights the importance of understanding reaction mechanisms, electrochemical reaction systems, and catalyst development. We believe that the integration of electrochemical upcycling and chemical depolymerization has the potential to contribute to a circular economy and mitigate the environmental impact of plastic waste.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8444-8458
Number of pages15
JournalGreen Chemistry
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Sept 22

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution


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