The increasing urgency to replace petroleum based products (like bisphenol-A) in polymer networks is the driving force behind this research. The goal is to used lignin-derived phenolic products and well as sugar-derived furan based molecules to synthesize bio-based polymer networks with comparable mechanical and thermal properties to those of BPA-based networks. The phenols from lignin can be dimerized via olefin metathesis to create a BPA-like structure and polymerized with furan-based molecules. Additionally, these phenolic dimers consist of an internal double bond that could be functionalized to tune polymer properties, as well as potentially introduce a method for recyclability of these polymer networks through it's cleavage.
Advisor: Mahdi Abu-Omar