Catalytic Activation Of Renewable Resources For Polymer Synthesis


Using renewable resources, such as plants (biomass) or carbon dioxide, as feedstocks for the chemical industry is important due to concerns regarding the sustainability, supply, environmental impact and cost of petrochemicals. Currently, almost all commodity plastics derive from petrochemicals; and after use, the vast majority end up in landfill sites where they are bulky and pervasive. An alternative bio-refinery concept applies plants (or waste plant products, such as agricultural, paper or food wastes) as the raw materials from which to co-produce fuels, power and products. In collaboration with colleagues at Georgia Tech and Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) we have recently published an article in Science magazine highlighting opportunities for bio-refineries. Our research interests lie specifically in using carbohydrates as feedstocks from which to produce polymers.

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