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Water replaces toxins: Green production of plastics

Many common materials are not sustainable. Some are harmful to plants or animals, others contain rare elements that will not always be as readily available as they are today. A great hope for the future is to achieve different material properties by using novel organic molecules. Organic high-performance materials containing only common elements such as carbon, hydrogen or oxygen could solve our resource problem—but their preparation is usually anything but environmentally friendly. Often very toxic substances are used during the synthesis of such materials, even if the end product itself is non-toxic. At TU Wien a different approach is taken: In the research group for organic high-performance materials, led by Prof. Miriam Unterlass at the Faculty of Technical Chemistry at TU Wien, a completely different synthetic method is employed. Instead of toxic additives, only hot water is used. A decisive breakthrough has now been achieved: two important classes of polymers could be generated using the new process—an important step towards industrial application of the new method.  Read more.....

 

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