Recent advances in oxidative degradation of plastics

Sewon Oh, Erin E. Stache

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Oxidative degradation is a powerful method to degrade plastics into oligomers and small oxidized products. While thermal energy has been conventionally employed as an external stimulus, recent advances in photochemistry have enabled photocatalytic oxidative degradation of polymers under mild conditions. This tutorial review presents an overview of oxidative degradation, from its earliest examples to emerging strategies. This review briefly discusses the motivation and the development of thermal oxidative degradation of polymers with a focus on underlying mechanisms. Then, we will examine modern studies primarily relevant to catalytic thermal oxidative degradation and photocatalytic oxidative degradation. Lastly, we highlight some unique studies using unconventional approaches for oxidative polymer degradation, such as electrochemistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChemical Society Reviews
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry


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