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1. Polyolefins, such as polyethylene and polypropylene, are widely used in the production of single-use plastic packaging and other consumer products due to their desirable material properties. However, their strong carbon-carbon bonds make them difficult to degrade, leading to significant environmental pollution.

2. Thermochemical pathways such as pyrolysis and thermal cracking have been explored for polyolefin depolymerization, but they suffer from low control over product selectivity and are energy-intensive. Alternatively, hydrogenolysis allows for selective depolymerization of polyolefins into liquid alkanes with targeted molecular weight ranges under mild conditions.

3. Ruthenium-based catalysts supported on carbon have been identified as highly active for the hydrogenolysis of polyethylene to produce processable liquid hydrocarbons that could be used as fuels or chemicals. This discovery is important for developing effective depolymerization processes of waste plastics to produce infinitely recyclable polymers.

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