RAFT Macromolecular Engineering of Green Bio-based Coatings from Butyrolactone Biorenewable Monomers

05 December 2022 → 04 December 2025
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Engineering and technology
    • Chemical product design and formulation not elsewhere classified
    • Chemical kinetics and thermodynamics
    • Polymer reaction engineering
    • Polymers and plastics
Polymer Colloids Sustainability Dispersed phase polymerizations
Project description

Current environmental constraints along with the depletion of fossil fuels necessitates the use of greener materials in society. Biobased monomers are the most sustainable, renewable, abundant and ubiquitous biomass available in nature, as they are present in plants. The reactivity of biobased monomers in free radical polymerizations will be assessed via pulsed laser polymerization in conjunction with size exclusion chromatography (PLP-SEC) which is a reliable technique that is recommended by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). The RAFT polymerization method will then be applied to a variety of butyrolactone monomer droplets dispersed in a green continuous phase (i.e. water) to produce polymeric nanoparticles with well-defined molar mass distributions (MMDs), particle size distributions (PSDs) and architectures. This will be achieved via the use of a novel thermoresponsive polymeric surfactant that shall enable perfect tuning of particle sizes and molar masses, decoupling of particle sizes from molar masses, in addition to the production of stable polymer latexes. The final polymer latexes shall find applications as biobased coatings with high thermal stability and enhanced optical properties.