Polyolefin polymer is amongst the most commonly used polymers for a variety of entities and objects in our surroundings. Polyolefin is synthesized to produce plastic bags, and despite the utility of the latter, they massively contribute to environmental degradation. However, a team of researchers at Virginia Tech has found a solution to reduce the nuisance caused by polyolefin. The researchers have discovered a new catalyst that acts along with polyester polymer to give a sustainable option for Biodegradable polyesters. It is expected that the findings of the researchers would contribute greatly towards reducing environmental degradation.
Understanding Stereochemistry of Biodegradable Polyesters
While conducting experiments in polymer chemistry, monomers are integrated with the macromolecular chain, and the properties of monometer side chain decides the properties of the polymer. However, no single side-chain arrangement can be replicated in other experiments, thus, making it difficult to retain the same properties for different polymers. One of the lead researchers expounded that regulating the stereochemistry of the polymer is the only way of improving or retaining its chemical and physical properties. The researchers used Ni/lr catalyst and a stereo-selective zinc catalyst to improve the properties of the polymers.
Regular Catalyst versus Synthesized Catalyst
The researchers state that a regular catalyst lacks the ability to control or regulate the stereochemistry of the polymer. The research paper prepared by the researchers includes ways to synthesize a stereo-selective catalyst that can help in improving the properties of the polymer. Furthermore, the researchers are positive that their research would open avenues for further developments in the field of polymer chemistry.