Future options for making plastics more sustainable

This lecture will describe research in chemistry and polymer materials carried out in the Williams research laboratories.

This research focusses on how to activate and transform non-petrochemical raw materials into polymers (plastics). For example, waste plants or agricultural by-products or even waste carbon dioxide can all be used as raw materials to make polymers, replacing petrochemicals derived from oil. The properties of polymers will be discussed and examples will given of possible end-user applications for these new renewable polymers. The lecture will introduce some concepts to consider when evaluating polymer sustainability and life cycles.