Dr Charles Romain
Five minutes with Dr Charles Romain, Junior Research Fellow
1. Tell us about your research in a nutshell
My work is concerned with developing new reactions and new mechanisms for making bio-based polymers; polymers being the main ingredient of plastics.
2. What impact could your research have for our industry partners?
Thanks to campaigns and programmes like Blue Planet 2, most people are aware that plastics can be harmful. We know that they can create a lot of pollution and can be dangerous to the environment in many ways. Our work to try and make new, “better” polymers from renewable resources will help to reduce our reliance on fossil resources and, we hope eventually, solve some of these pollution-based issues.
We are not necessarily producing plastics but are developing new tools for making polymers that could be used to make plastics that will allow us to extend the life cycle of original resources. These tools could, for example, be of interest to companies producing bio-based monomers and polymers, (such as BASF, Covestro, NatureWork, Futerro etc) as well as SMEs.
3. What interests you most about your field at the moment?
The fact that we could be developing one of the future solutions to the global issue of plastic pollution is really exciting! "
The fact that we could be developing one of the future solutions to the global issue of plastic pollution is really exciting!
Also, though I have been working on bio-based and CO2-based polymers since my postdoc with Prof. Charlotte K. Williams, my original training is related to organometallic chemistry and catalysis... In my current position I’m using both my competences in inorganic chemistry and polymer chemistry to bridge the gap between the two fields and investigate how new catalytic reactions could allow the use of new bio-based monomers and allow us to access new “sustainable materials.”
4. Who/what sectors would be interested in hearing more about your research?
Any industry looking at new bio-based monomers and materials. Our research, at its early stage, could have a wide range of applications but a few examples are:
- Consumer packaging
- Automotive and construction products