- Synthesis of materials
- Organic chemical synthesis
Plastics and their by-products are littering our cities and oceans and could be contributing to potential health risks concerning humans and animals. A possible way to circumvent or reduce these issues, is making use of recycled or reshaped materials. Nonetheless, the plastic industry rarely makes use of recycled plastics in the vast majority of their products, unlike the glass and metal industries. In general synthetic plastics can be classified in two different classes. The first class, referred to as thermosets, cannot be successfully remoulded or reheated after their initial heat-forming. This is opposed to thermoplastics which can be remoulded or reshaped. On the other hand, thermosets have a number of advantages compared to thermoplastics such as increased thermal, mechanical and chemical resistance. This makes such materials well-suited for the production of components that need to maintain their strength and structure over a long period of time. Our research proposal aims to provide an original solution for the recycling issue of thermosets via the introduction of plasticity, enabling the material to flow at elevated temperatures. More specifically, we aim to introduce an already known and industrially viable chemistry platform in different “dynamic” materials. While most of the current research reports the use of external toxic catalysts, we propose to address this societal challenge by using sulfones as a new and catalytic free dynamic chemistry platform.