Pyrolysis and hydrolysis behaviors during steam pyrolysis of polyimide

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Kapton film, which is a typical aromatic polyimide (PI) film, exhibits excellent thermal stability and flexibility. Therefore, it is used widely for flexible printed circuit boards in combination with other resins and metals. However, this makes it difficult to recycle it. In this work, we focused on the steam pyrolysis technique, which is a method of depolymerizing condensation polymers without solvents, catalysts, or high pressure, as a way of overcoming this issue. The steam pyrolysis of Kapton film was carried out using a thermogravimetric (TG) analyzer equipped with a steam generator. In addition, the TG results were evaluated further using model fitting techniques. It was found that steam enhanced the hydrolysis of the imide ring, which occurred on the surface of the PI film. The hydrolysis selectivity was as high as 89% at 528 °C. However, steam did not significantly enhance the Kapton decomposition rate, owing to rapid carbonization, which took place because of the simultaneous occurrence of pyrolysis. Thus, the obtained results implied that high-yield monomer recovery can be achieved by lowering the temperature to prevent pyrolysis and by improving the steam contact efficiency to enhance hydrolysis within the material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1


  • Hydrolysis
  • Kapton
  • Kinetic analysis
  • Pyrolysis
  • Thermogravimetric analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Fuel Technology


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