Fellowship to research plastics production

Tutorial Fellow and Professor of Inorganic Chemistry Charlotte Williams has been awarded a five-year Established Career Fellowship by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The £1.5 million fellowship allows time for Professor Williams and her research team to investigate and develop a recently discovered chemical process – described as ‘switchable polymer manufacturing’ – with a view to making plastics production more environmentally friendly. The long term goal is to investigate how to re-configure polymer manufacturing to produce sustainable, high-value materials.

In the UK, the plastics industry employs more than 170,000 people and has an annual sale turnover of £23.5 billion. It is also one of the country’s top 10 exports. Today most of these plastics are sourced from petrochemicals and are not designed for efficient recycling or biodegradation.

Professor Williams says: ‘I’m delighted to have this support for our research in polymer synthesis. We will investigate how switchable catalysis can be used to make higher performance degradable plastics and elastomers.’

The researchers will work with a team of industry partners and international academics to investigate how to re-configure polymer manufacturing to produce sustainable, high-value materials.

Posted: 13 September 2019

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