Tough, Sustainable Plastics via Graft Block Polymer Design
Plastics affect and improve many aspects of modern life. However, they also create enormous challenges for science and society: most commodity plastics are produced from petroleum and persist in the environment for hundreds of years. If current production and waste management trends continue, by 2050 the plastics industry will account for 20% of all oil consumed; in the same year, the total mass of plastics in the ocean will equal the mass of fish. In the proposed research, we aim to develop high-performance plastics that can be sourced from renewable feedstocks and rapidly degrade. By bridging polymer chemistry and polymer physics, we will introduce new opportunities to design sustainable materials.
Arnold O. Beckman exemplifies the meaning of the word humanitarian. Combined with his unwavering enthusiasm for life, his keen sense of humor and his strong moral and ethical principles, he is a national icon.