Researchers develop sustainable polymers from industrial waste

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2024-06-19 11:48:25 – India

In a significant step towards addressing the global plastic pollution crisis, researchers at Shiv Nadar University have developed sustainable polymers derived from industrial waste. Led by Professor Bimlesh Lochab and Dr. Sangeeta Sahu from the Department of Chemistry, the team has introduced a new class of waste-derived polymers aimed at achieving carbon neutrality.

These innovative polymers are created using elemental sulfur from petroleum refining industries and cardanol from cashew nut industry waste, offering a sustainable alternative to traditional petrochemical-based plastics. The synthesis of these polymers requires minimal technical complexity, facilitating their adoption across various industries. The findings have been published in the ACS Journal.

The polymers fall under the emerging class of vitrimers, which can be reshaped and reused without disposal, akin to the regenerative properties of human skin. They exhibit self-healing abilities when exposed to specific temperatures, mimicking temperature-responsive wound healing.

Guided by green chemistry principles, the research team envisions diverse applications for these waste-derived polymers, including flexible coatings, robust adhesives, and flame-resistant materials for battery technology.

The polymers' rebondable adhesive properties, impressive load-bearing capacity, and shape recovery potential highlight their revolutionary impact on sustainability challenges. "The material demonstrates excellent adhesion to metal surfaces, such as aluminum-aluminum, steel-steel, and aluminum-steel hybrid substrates, with remarkable strength," said Dr. Bimlesh Lochab.

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