Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Rethinking plastics

KAUST Distinguished Professors Yves Gnanou and Nikolaos Hadjichristidis and their fellow researchers developed the first metal-free process for making aliphatic degradable polycarbonates using CO₂. The metal-free aliphatic polycarbonate is transparent and highly flexible.

​From plastic wrap to car tires, we demand a lot from our plastics—elasticity, strength, flexibility and recyclability. The ability to manipulate these qualities has made plastics into a diverse and almost ubiquitous material. The omnipresence of plastics, however, has grave implications for the environment and especially for the world's oceans. The United Nations Environment Programme predicts that by 2050, there will be as much plastic in the ocean as there are fish.