Seminar - New synthetic routes and catalytic systems for making polymers from renewable resources

Speaker / Host:
Dr Charles Romain, Department of Chemistry
Monday, 13 November 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Imperial College London

Room G01, Royal School of Mines, South Kensington Campus.

Abstract:  Our modern life relies on polymers, from the materials that are used to make our houses, our cars, our clothes to those with advanced applications in medicine, aeronautics and electronics. Many polymers contribute considerably to improve the quality of life but many of these materials are made from fossil fuel based resources. Due to the rapid depletion of oil, it now appears crucial to develop sustainable manufacturing processes using renewable feedstock.1

In this vein, a versatile catalytic system able to use a pool of various bio-based monomers (epoxide, anhydride and CO2) to make well-defined polyesters and polycarbonates will be presented.2 Especially, a “Mix and Match” approach allowing access to various block copolymers with assorted properties will be discussed.3 Finally, a promising polymerization route using monomers derived from the HMF and the vanillin platforms will be examined and preliminary results will be presented.

1 a) Y. Zhu, C. Romain, C. K. Williams, Nature 2016, 540, 354; b) A. Llevot, P.K. Dannecker, M. von Czapiewski, L. C. Over, Z. Soyler, M. A. R. Meier, Chem. Eur. J. 2016, 22, 11510.

2 C. Romain, Y. Zhu, P. Dingwall, S. Pal, H. S. Rzepa, A. Buchard, C. K. Williams, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 4120; S. Paul, C. Romain, J. Shaw, C. K. Williams, Macromolecules 2015, 48, 6047; C. Romain, C. K. Williams, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 1607

3 C. K. Williams, C. Romain, P. K. Saini, “Catalysts”, WO2015118100; C. K. Williams, C. Romain, M. Kember, “Method and catalyst system for preparing polymers and block copolymers”, WO2014184579; C. K. Williams, Y. Zhu, “Multi-block copolymers”, WO2017029479.  

Biography::  Charles graduated in 2008 from Université de Rennes 1 were he obtained his MSc degree as well as his engineering degree from Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes (ENSCR). He then obtained his Ph.D in 2011 from Université de Strasbourg under the supervision of Dr. Samuel Dagorne and Dr. Stéphane Bellemin-Laponnaz. The subject of his thesis dealt with the synthesis and the reactivity of group 4 metal complexes bearing NHC ligands and their applications to the ring-opening polymerization of cyclic polar monomers.

He joined Econic-Technologies as research scientist in January 2012 to develop new catalysts for polymers from CO2.

In February 2013, Charles joined a multidisciplinary EPRSC project dealing with the deconstruction of biomass and the valorisation of carbohydrates. Under the supervision of Prof. Charlotte K. Williams at Imperial College London, his main work focused on the synthesis of polyesters and polycarbonates from renewable resources. In January 2016, Charles continued at Imperial College London under the supervision of Dr. Jason Hallett and Prof. George Britovsek to investigate catalytic transformations and valorisation of biomass.

In September 2016, Charles began his independent carer as Junior Research Fellow in the department of Chemistry at Imperial College London. His main research focuses on polymerisation catalysis and the development of original polymerisation reactions using renewables resources.