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Melville Lecturer 2011 - Development of New Routes to Benign Polymeric Materials

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Society depends on polymeric materials now more than at any other time in history. Although synthetic polymers are indispensable in a diverse array of applications, ranging from commodity packaging and structural materials to technologically complex biomedical and electronic devices, their synthesis and post-use fate pose important environmental challenges. The focus of our research is the development of routes to polymers with reduced environmental impact. In this work, we aim to transition from fossil fuels to renewable resources, and are developing synthetic methods that limit energy and raw-material consumption. In addition, we are designing materials that will eventually degrade into non-toxic materials, and have properties comparable to current commodity plastics. In this lecture, the development of catalytic routes to polyolefins, polyesters, polycarbonates, and polyethers will be presented. http://chemistry.cornell.edu/faculty/detail.cfm?netid=gc39

This talk is part of the Melville Laboratory Seminars series.

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