Stereochemistry In Sustainable Polymers

Sustainable Polymers

There are two main ways to goals encapsulated within the movement of sustainable polymers

  1. New competitive plastics from renewable biomass.

  2. Reduced persistence of plastics through enhanced biodegradability.

An opportunistic attribute of many biomass-based precursors is their inherent chirality from varying complex sugars.  Stereochemistry has an important part of structure-property relationships since the inception of polymer science. Thus, our research aims to understand how the stereochemistry of various bio-derived monomers affects the resulting properties of the polymer.

Isosorbide vs Isomannide


Isosorbide and isomanide are rigid chiral isomers derived from the natural sugars, glucose and fructose. These compounds are identical with the exception of one stereogenic center bearing an exo or endo alcohol functionality. Therefore, these platform chemicals are uniquely suited to study stereochemistry effects in polymer properties. 

Mace, Matt. ;AkzoNobel launches bio-renewable coating following anti-fouling accusations, 2016



For many years, the deterrence of marine fouling on aquatic vessels relied on biocidal coatings, such as paints, which have the propensity to leach hazardous chemicals into congested waterways and leading to negative impacts on the aquatic ecosystem. One portion of our research is aimed at using biomass-based polymers as natural anti-fouling coatings that operate based on unique polymer chemistries and architectures.



Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

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