Leticia Peña, PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Arjan W. Kleij (ICIQ), has defended her PhD Thesis entitled
“Synthesis of Biobased Polymers derived from Terpenes” (assigned to the Organic and Analytical Chemistry Department of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili) publicly on July 4th at the ICIQ Auditorium.
The members of the evaluation committee were: Dr. Alexandr Shafir (ICIQ), Dr. Christophe J.A. Detrembleur (University of Liège) and Dr. Michael Shaver (University of Edinburgh)
The doctoral thesis of Leticia Peña focuses in the development of synthetic methods towards bio-based polymers. Her first project involved the optimization of polycarbonate formation from CO2 and epoxides. CO2 is considered a waste material so its an ideal synthon for the manufacture of biorenewable polymers. Furthermore, the coupling of CO2 was optimized with limonene oxide, a terpene based material, yielding a completely biobased material with good thermal properties.
She later moved on to polyesther synthesis by the reaction of anhydrides and epoxides. She studied different catalysts and condition, which were active in these reactions, and investigated the potential of making this kind of polymers from biobased monomers. To finish up she worked on the transformation of fatty acids into useful starting materials for poly hidroxy urethanes.