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Brannigan Lab

Sustainable Polymer Chemistry

& Degradable Biomaterials

Sustainable monomer feedstocks

Currently, 8-10% of the global consumption of fossil fuels is dedicated to the production of non-degradable plastics. This is equivalent to the fossil fuel consumption of the worldwide aviation industry, and is predicted to increase dramatically over the next decade. With ever decreasing natural resources and environmental impact associated with petrochemical-based polymers, the need for sustainable monomer feedstocks is of great importance. We are interested in utilising naturally-derived and sustainable monomers, such as amino acids, terpenes, sugars etc., as a platform for the development of plastics for advanced applications.

Bioabsorbable & compostable materials

The global "plastic recycling market" is expected to reach $47.3 billion (€43.94 Bn) by 2026. Despite large investments into recycling initiatives, it is estimated that only 9% of plastics produced globally annually, with roughly 79% (237 tonnes) of the remaining plastics accumulating in landfills and environment as waste. With such high levels of environmental pollution generated through waste, the development of materials which exhibit complete and timely biodegradation to non-toxic bioabsorbable by-products under environmental conditions are extremely attractive alternatives. 

Relevant publications

  • Synthesis of mechanically robust renewable poly (ester-amide) s through co-polymerisation of unsaturated polyesters and synthetic polypeptides, R. P. Brannigan; A. Heise, 2020, European Polymer Journal, 123, 109417.

  • Application of Modified Amino Acid-Derived Diols as Chain Extenders in the Synthesis of Novel Thermoplastic Polyester–Urethane Elastomers, R. P. Brannigan; A. Walder; A. P. Dove, 2017, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 5, 6902-6909.

  • Tunable thermoplastic poly (ester–urethane) s based on modified serinol extenders, RP Brannigan; A Walder; AP Dove, 2016, Macromolecules, 49, 2518-2525.

Sustainable Polymer Chemistry

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