Virtual PolyAnalysis Forum

Virtual PolyAnalysis Forum  

The PolyAnalysis Forum Series presents talks on the use of gel permeation chromatography and light scattering detection for the analysis of various types of polymers. The second event of this series will focus on sustainable polymers. 

PolyAnalysis Forum - December 2022

PolyAnalysis Forum – Sustainable Polymers: Towards the Materials of the Future 

1.12.2022, 15:00-17:30 CET


Diversification of discarded polyesters to high value segmented thermoplastic copolyesters 

[Louis Pitet, Hasselt University] 

Thermoplastic copolyesters (TPC) are found in countless products, from cable insulation to airducts to phone cases. The wide range of suitable products derives from the versatile chemical makeup. Nearly all of these plastics, however, are manufactured from virgin raw materials, even as millions of tons of terephthalates are discarded every year in the form of bottles and fabric. We have been investigating the transformation of discarded polyesters into TPCs by chemically harvesting the terephthalate units. By repurposing discarded materials, we are working toward reduction in CO2 output associated with this industry, and a circular plastic economy. 

New cellulose chemistry from a sustainability perspective: renewability is not enough 

[Michael Meier, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology - KIT] 

In order to develop truly ˈgreenˈ polymeric materials, using renewable resources is insufficient. The renewable feedstocks rather have to be used in a sustainable fashion by combining as many of the principles of green chemistry as possible and by applying quantitative methods of sustainability evaluation. Within this contribution, the focus will be on new and more sustainable derivatization approaches of carbohydrates, including new solubilization and catalysis concepts as well as the use of multicomponent reactions. 

High-performance polyacetals from renewable resources 

[Megan Robertson, University of Houston] 

The accumulation of plastic waste in oceans and landfills requires design of new polymers. Developing degradable polymers is one route to address these challenges, providing alternative options for their end-of-life treatment. Polyacetals are a promising class of degradable polymer due to their rapid rates of hydrolysis. Challenges remain in achieving property metrics required for applications. We demonstrate polyacetals from lignin-based feedstocks, vanillin, and syringaldehyde. The polyacetals exhibited properties of super engineering plastics, such as high thermal stabilities and high glass transition and/or melting temperatures, and were also effectively degraded to small molecules under acid-catalyzed hydrolytic conditions. 

Decoding the structure of natural polymers with advanced GPC/SEC 

[Subin Damodaran, Tosoh Bioscience] 

The complexity and diversity of structures in polymers is a great challenge for polymer researchers when it comes to studying structure-property relationships. Size exclusion chromatography coupled with advanced detectors is a powerful tool for polymer characterization, that can provide valuable molecular and structural analysis. Therefore it is perfectly suited to effectively characterize complex natural polymers and help those find their right contribution in the development of sustainable polymers. 

Joint Q & A Session with all presenters 

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