Polymers from Renewable Sources and Sustainable Polymer Synthesis (#281)

Polymers based all or in part upon renewable sources have become increasingly important in academic, government and industrial research laboratories. Reducing dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels and designing materials with smaller environmental impact are both strong motivating forces from sustainability and economic perspectives, but there are also significant opportunities to create innovative polymeric materials by utilizing naturally occurring polymers/macromonomers/monomers, and monomers derived from natural sources. Grafting well-defined synthetic polymer chains from/to various natural polymers including polysaccharides, cellulose, nanocrystalline cellulose, alginate, and chitosan has led to the development of new hybrid materials with controlled architectures. Controlled (or living) radical polymerization, ring opening polymerization, and thiol-ene or click chemistry are also being used to develop new renewably-based materials, presenting several challenges but also opening exciting new opportunities. Also of increasing importance is "sustainable polymer synthesis", which encompasses polymerization methodologies that are inherently sustainable, including for example emulsion polymerization, water-based polymers, processes using benign or “greener” catalysts, and polymerization in green solvents. This symposium will include lectures on: (1) new polymeric materials prepared by utilizing naturally occurring macromonomers or monomers, or monomers derived from natural sources; (2) new polymeric structures containing a renewable component; and (3) new polymerization methodologies that are inherently sustainable.
Last update: Dec 28, 2015