Research carried out by the group aims to develop (new) sustainable polymers. Our approach is built around three axes:
- use and transformations of renewable resources to access to original monomers
- development of new methodologies and catalytic systems formaking polymers
- polymer engineering for material with enhanced end-of-life
Key research aims
Use of renewable resources
Our research aims at using platform chemicals obtained from readily available renewables such as cellulose and lignin. Among others, our current investigations focus on the use of HMF and vanillin to make new monomers.
Keywords: Monomer synthesis, renewable resource valorisation
Field: Green chemistry, organic chemistry, catalysis
New methodologies and catalytic systems for making polymers
One of our research aims is to expand the chemist toolbox to make bio-based polymers. This involves developing new methodology and versatile catalytic systems able to use bio-based monomers readily available from renewable resources. We particularly focus on combining “actor” ligands with main group metals (which are cheap, abundant and has low toxicity) to decipher new reactivity.
Our recent work dealing with aluminium catam complexes for ring-opening polymerisation of lactide at room temperature has been published in Dalton Transaction.
Keyword: Ligand and catalysts design, structure-activity relationship, reactivity and companionable study (DFT), Ring-opening (co)polymerisation, cyclic « oxygenated » monomers (cyclic ester, carbonates…).
Field: Organometallics and inorganic chemistry, Polymerisation catalysis, « actor » ligands
Polymers and material engineering for bespoke end-of-life
To overcome some limitations of bio-based polymers, we investigate how polymer composition and modification affect materials properties. This includes improving thermal and mechanical properties of degradable polymers to broaden their range of applications.
Keyword: controlled polymers composition and architecture, polymer post-modifications
Field: polymer chemistry, materials
If you are interested in initiating a collaboration we would be happy to hear from you. Please contact Dr Charles Romain