Polymer synthesis − Controlled growth
A key competency of the department is to develop innovative methods and technologies for the production of polymers. We also want to establish the conditions for the implementation of these processes under production conditions. Besides polycondensation and radical polymerization processes in bulk solution, we especially focus on process development for polymerization in heterogeneous systems in classical and inverse systems. We use reaction- and process analytical methods to optimize the processes for polymer formation and modification and to transfer processes from lab to miniplant scale.
The synthesis of biobased hetero-chain polymers with the aim of developing materials with improved performance characteristics, are another focus of our research and development services. Currently we are concentrating our activities on the material use of lactic acid for the synthesis of aliphatic polyesters. Corresponding works focus on expanding the range of properties of polylactide (PLA) via synthetic routes that are compatible with the technical production processes of PLA. Aiming on an expansion of the project goup's application potential we have been expanding and intensifying the R&D activities in the field of bio-based polyester including a number of other glucose-based blocks (various dicarboxylic acids, diols, multifunctional devices). These approaches are complemented by studies on procuction of nanocomposites from petrochemical and biobased hetero-chain polymers via in situ polycondensation processes.
Further key topics are both product- and process-oriented in order to obtain new or enhanced polymer-based tools for solid-liquid separation processes, which are applied for example in wastewater treatment or in paper production.