PET Recycle & Reuse – Only an (Important) Interim Solution!
PET recycling is important, but all polyesters must be made from sugars (rather sooner than later)
PET Bottle

PET Bottle (Image: Jesse Wagstaff via flickr)

PET is derived from oil: That must change!

The article (below) on “… innovative advanced circular recycling technology that uses polyester waste which cannot be recycled by current mechanical methods, and as a result, often ends up in landfills and waterways” triggered the sharing of some of our insight in the the whole topic of oil-derived polyesters.

DalinYebo’s Insight:

In a recent study, DalinYebo noted that the competitors in the PET [1] alternatives market are not other technology and product developers of e.g. PEF [2] who use the furan chemistry platform, but the re-cycling of PET. Recycling of PET has gained a lot of traction over the last 5 years and is well supported and funded by major global alliances and local players. Also here in South Africa.

Chemically-modified or chemically treated PET becomes degradable (in landfills). It is not a solution, as in the end they’ll emit oil-derived greenhouse gases (methane and/or CO2). Therefore, PET recycling is important. In our opinion, however, it should only be viewed as an interim solution. All Polyesters must be made from sugars (biomass) and not from oil!


  • Sugar-derived polyesters can also be recycled and re-used.
  • Sugar-derived polyesters have superior physical properties.
  • Sugar-derived polyesters are made from CO2 that is absorbed by plants and turned into bio-carbons (sugars) which then become the starting point of furan (furfural as well as 5-HMF) chemistry.

A brilliant carbon-capture mechanism!

We have previously written about furan-based alternative’s to PET.

Tag: PET | Search: Polyester | Explore: Furfural Chemistry: Carbon Capture / CO2 Sequestration

DalinYebo: Bioeconomy Consultants

Technology . Markets . Knowhow



  • [1] PEF: Polyethylene 2,5-furandicarboxylate, also named poly(ethylene 2,5-furandicarboxylate), polyethylene furanoate and poly(ethylene furanoate) and generally abbreviated as PEF. PEF can be made from sugars that are converted to 5-HMF, which is further processed to 2,5-FDCA and then converted into PEF.

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However, bio-degradation of PET will result in breakdown products such as methane or (at best, if methane is recovered/converted to) CO2, the so called Greenhouse Gases, which in this case a derived from oil.

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