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Engineering | Undergraduate Research

Sustainable polymers for improved chemical circularity

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Sustainable polymers for improved chemical circularity

Our group is currently developing future plastics with similar or better properties and improved chemical circularity compared to current polymers. One promising approach is to integrate renewable chemical building blocks with dynamic covalent chemistries (i.e., covalent bonds that can break and reform reversibly) to design sustainable polymers at the molecular level. Our primary targets are newly designed polyolefins with improved mechanical recycling efficiency and polyesters with inducible and fast biodegradability. Specifically, renewable building blocks can be derived from biomass feedstocks (e.g., algae) or waste plastics. Appropriate dynamic covalent chemistries will be selected toward targeted systems.

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