Global polymer production exceeded 8 billion metric tons and as the industry continues to grow, the importance of sustainability has promoted the development of biodegradable polymers. We can do a lot with biodegradable polymers however, there are still many polymeric materials that are not biodegradable–including synthetic latex. My research addresses this issue by developing a biodegradable latex synthesis via emulsion ringopening polymerization. The technical challenge of this approach is to perform the water sensitive polymerization in aqueous media. The innovative aspect of this strategy is that I will utilize microfluidics to encapsulate the catalyst and protect it from water.
BS, Chemical Engineering, University of New Mexico
PhD start year:
Chemical & Biomolecular Eng.
Description of Research: