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Challenges in Sustainable Polymeric Materials



Kathryn L. Beers, Christopher M. Stafford


While there are many societal and economic factors that contribute to a sustainable civilization, there are also real technical and scientific problems that must be solved to provide the materials necessary to make progress towards the goal of sustainability. Critical challenges include reducing the consumption of non-renewable resources, lowering the embodied energy of materials, and enabling improved recovery, reuse and recycling of polymer-based products. The solutions are many and varied, including increased use of renewable feedstocks, expanded use of catalysis, including industrial biotechnology, as well as smarter design and control of polymer structure and properties. Our group develops new reaction environments and measurement methods to synthesize and characterize polymeric materials, in particular those used for applications in thin films and at interfaces. Recent focus has been on investigating the use of solid-supported enzymatic catalysis for the preparation of polyesters in continuous flow and several new measurement methods to characterize mechanical properties of thin films.
Proceedings Title
PSTC Tech 33
Conference Dates
May 19-21, 2010
Conference Location
Las Vegas, NV


sustainable materials, microreactors, enzymatic polymerization, thin film mechanics, creep compliance


Beers, K. and Stafford, C. (2010), Challenges in Sustainable Polymeric Materials, PSTC Tech 33, Las Vegas, NV (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created May 19, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017