Application-led polyester design
As the shift towards a more sustainable future continues, the need for plastics to be renewable and recyclable or degradable increases. Polyesters can meet these criteria; lactones, anhydrides and epoxides can all have natural precursors and the intrinsic presence of at least one backbone ester per repeat unit affords a good chance of degradability by hydrolysis or enzymolysis. However, water and transesterification side reactions make this tricky. Over the last decade, advances in how to overcome these unwanted reactions and modify monomers or polymers have allowed the targeting of specific applications where polyesters can thrive. This talk will run through some of these applications and how careful consideration of the monomers can lead to highly functional materials.