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Recycling Acetic Acid from Polarizing Film of Waste Liquid Crystal Display Panels by Sub/Supercritical Water Treatments

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-05-19, 00:00 authored by Ruixue Wang, Ya Chen, Zhenming Xu
Waste liquid crystal display (LCD) panels mainly contain inorganic materials (glass substrate) and organic materials (polarizing film and liquid crystal). The organic materials should be removed first since containing polarizing film and liquid crystal is to the disadvantage of the indium recycling process. In the present study, an efficient and environmentally friendly process to obtain acetic acid from waste LCD panels by sub/supercritical water treatments is investigated. Furthermore, a well-founded reaction mechanism is proposed. Several highlights of this study are summarized as follows: (i) 99.77% of organic matters are removed, which means the present technology is quite efficient to recycle the organic matters; (ii) a yield of 78.23% acetic acid, a quite important fossil energy based chemical product is obtained, which can reduce the consumption of fossil energy for producing acetic acid; (iii) supercritical water acts as an ideal solvent, a requisite reactant as well as an efficient acid–base catalyst, and this is quite significant in accordance with the “Principles of Green Chemistry”. In a word, the organic matters of waste LCD panels are recycled without environmental pollution. Meanwhile, this study provides new opportunities for alternating fossil-based chemical products for sustainable development, converting “waste” into “fossil-based chemicals”.