Dr. Francesco della Monica

Prof Arjan Kleij

Sustainable Polyesters and Renewable Terpenoid Monomers

ICIQ profile

From 01/07/2019 to

30/06/2021

SUPREME

Synthetic polymers derived from petrochemical products are essential for the production of a wide range of consumer
products. The demand for more sustainable and renewable monomers and polymers is currently increasing, because fossil
feedstock will become scarce in future times, and the global legislation is putting an increasing stress on the use of certain
monomers used in the polymer industry. The aliphatic polyesters represent one of the most appealing type of bioplastic
materials, because of their general biocompatibility and facile hydrolytic degradation and, in this ambit, the use of terpenes
as monomers or monomer-precursors is largely unexplored. The primary objective of this project, is the creation of new
polyester formulations based on renewable and accessible terpene monomers to answer to the growing need for future
generations of more functional and sustainable materials. Three renewable monomers have been selected, two derived from
camphor and a new one from β-elemene. Structurally new polyesters will be synthesized by ring opening (co)polymerization
of these monomers, using catalytic systems based on cheap and health-friendly metals (Fe, Al). The use of the new βelemene based monomer will incorporate vinylic groups along the polymer chains, offering the possibility for postmodification of the obtained material. The success of the project is supported by the Experienced Researcher background in
polymer synthesis with the Host experience in the discovery and catalytic valorization of new terpene scaffolds. The action
will take place in an interdisciplinary and international environment, granting to the Experienced Researcher a solid train in
scientific and soft skills needed for his future career. The results of the action will have a strong impact on the society, giving
the opportunity to asses circular economy on a highly impact industrial sector, such as that of bio-polymers.