PNNL Lecture Series: Design of a Processive Catalyst for the Upcycling of Polyethylene

October 20, 2020

PNNL Lecture Series: Design of a Processive Catalyst for the Upcycling of Polyethylene

The Institute for Integrated Catalysis at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is organizing a series of six lectures with the focus on understanding and advancing catalytic chemistry for the upcycling of plastics. This critical area has become one of the fastest-growing branches in catalytic research.

In this series, we will focus on a broad range of chemistries that will include activation of carbon-carbon, carbon-hydrogen, and carbon-heteroatoms bonds relevant to plastic deconstruction, and on the prospects for the synthesis of renewable, biodegradable plastics. The goal is to stimulate discussion among catalysis experts with different expertise and to broaden our community's understanding of scientific challenges associated with the upcycling of plastics.

We have an outstanding lineup of speakers who will outline their scientific strategy, present their research, and set their work into the broader context of this critical area. Each lecture (approximately 45 minutes) will be followed by an extended discussion (up to 30 minutes) to allow ample time for questions and to stimulate dialog among the participants. The planned timeframe for the lectures is from October 20 through November 23, 2020, with one lecture per week.

In this webinar, Aaron Sadow, Professor of Chemistry at Iowa State University, will share results from their team’s studies on the interactions between polymers and heterogeneous catalysts using solid-state NMR spectroscopy to design catalytic materials that affect the process by which larger macromolecules are deconstructed into a distribution of smaller molecules. Solid-state (SS) 13C NMR spectroscopic methods show that conformations of polyethylene chains, and dynamic properties of conformational domains, are affected by the three dimensional properties of solids upon which the polymer is adsorbed.

Looking ahead:

October 26: Upgrading Polyolefins by C-H Bond Functionalization

November 2: Catalytic Conversion of Polyolefines to Alkylaromatics

November 9: Design of Catalytic Solvolysis Process for Selectively Deconstructing Waste Plastics

November 16: CO2-Assisted Activation and Upgrading of Light Alkanes

November 23: Carbo-chemicals in the Circular Economy