BioPACIFIC MIP Seminar Series: Prof. Marc Hillmyer
Polyester Copolymers for Sustainable Plastics and Elastomers
In this presentation I will discuss our efforts on the design and development of new high performance polyester copolymers and their use in elastomers and plastics. I will highlight research supported by the National Science Foundation Center for Sustainable Polymers (CSP) and will describe how our work fits into the Sustainable Polymer Framework developed within the CSP. Biobased origins of the monomers, green polymerization techniques, critical property evaluation, and end-of-life solutions are all facets of this integrated research program. The principal polymerization technique that will be discussed is ring-opening transesterification polymerization of various cyclic esters that can be derived from biomass resources. New monomer design and new copolymerization strategies have been developed that allow for the precision synthesis of, for example, block copolymers for thermoplastic elastomers, polyurethanes, statistical copolymers, graft copolymers and star copolymers containing polyester segments that each feature certain performance advantages. From an end-of-life perspective, I will discuss hydrolytic degradation, chemical recycling, and composting of these materials.
Marc Hillmyer received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Florida in 1989 and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1994. After completing a postdoctoral research position in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science he joined the Chemistry faculty at Minnesota in 1997. He is currently the McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Chemistry and leads a research group focused on the synthesis and self-assembly of multifunctional polymers. In addition to his teaching and research responsibilities, Marc served as an associate editor for the ACS journal Macromolecules from 2008-2017 and is currently the editor-in-chief of Macromolecules. He is also the director of the Center for Sustainable Polymers headquartered at the University of Minnesota, a National Science Foundation Center for Chemical Innovation.