We are developing new, sustainable catalysts, processes and building blocks for polymers such as polyesters (such as PET and polylactide), polyurethanes (PU) and polycarbonates (PC) which are used as commodity plastics and for high value biomedical applications.
In collaboration with industrial partners, we have developed and patented heavy-metal replacement catalysts for PET and PU that minimise the use of antimony and mercury in industrial processes. We have designed a series of very robust tin-free catalysts for the controlled synthesis of polylactide some of which are currently being tested for industrial applications and we are currently developing new catalysts and processes for incorporation of CO2 into a new generation of sustainable, renewable plastics.
This work has led to a £2.6 million EPSRC project on sustainable chemical feedstocks, patented catalyst technology and fundamental knowledge of Group 4 metal catalysis that is being exploited by UK companies.
Professor Matthew Davidson