A butadiene-derived semicrystalline polyolefin with two-tiered chemical recyclability

Cherish Nie, Shawn M. Maguire, Callie W. Zheng, Megan Mohadjer Beromi, Richard A. Register, Rodney D. Priestley, Emily C. Davidson, Paul J. Chirik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Commodity polyolefins account for the majority of plastic waste but are challenging to depolymerize or upcycle due to the high thermal and chemical stability of hydrocarbon polymer backbones. Here, we report a class of polyolefin that undergoes clean and selective chemical recycling at both the oligomeric and polymeric stages. Iron-catalyzed [2+2] cycloaddition of the monomer butadiene formed telechelic oligomers (1,n′-divinyl)-oligocyclobutane (DVOCB) that undergo deoligomerization back to butadiene. From the oligomer DVOCB, chain extension using acyclic diene metathesis (ADMET) yielded the polyolefin pDVOCB. Reverse ADMET of pDVOCB enabled full recovery of the telechelic oligomer. pDVOCB polymers are semicrystalline hydrocarbon polymers with high melting temperatures (Tm > 230°C) that have excellent chemical and hydrolytic stability and comparable mechanical properties to commodity polyolefins, such as polypropylene and polyethylene. Thus, this work demonstrates a class of semicrystalline polyolefins that offers two tiers of chemical recycling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)698-712
Number of pages15
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 8 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Materials Chemistry


  • SDG12: Responsible consumption and production
  • SDG9: Industry, innovation, and infrastructure
  • butadiene
  • chemical recycling
  • closed-loop
  • depolymerization
  • polyolefin


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