Scientists and engineers in the CSCT, working together with industry partners are developing new renewable materials, benign catalysts and cleaner processes needed for the advanced polymeric materials of tomorrow.

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.

Our collaborative work with industrial partners such as Corbion and Total Corbion has led to a £2.6 million EPSRC project on sustainable chemical feedstocks, patented catalyst technology and long-term strategic partnerships with multinational companies.

A Visiting Industrial Fellow from Total Corbion has recently joined our team to co-supervise and train PhD students and to provide strategic input on innovation, once again showcasing the fruitful partnership between the CSCT and its collaborators.

“New ways of making, using and recycling plastics will have a major impact on global sustainability. By identifying and developing plastics from renewable sources we will not only reduce our dependence on petrochemicals but have the opportunity to build in desirable properties such as heat resistance and biodegradability.” Professor Matthew Davidson


Key Research Papers

Chem. Commun., 2016, 52, 10431
Marcomolecules, 2016, 49, 7165
Dalton Trans., 2016, 45, 5374
Chem. Sci., 2015, 6, 5034
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2014, 53, 13858
Patent: WO 2014177543 A1


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