Professor Theresa Reineke has received the University of Minnesota’s 2017 Distinguished McKnight University Professorship. This professorship recognizes and rewards the university's most outstanding mid-career faculty members. Recipients are honored with the title, Distinguished McKnight University Professor, which they hold for as long as they remain at the University of Minnesota, and receive a grant of $100,000 that can be used to support their scholarly activities.

 

Summary from University of Minnesota Department of Chemistry


Collaborative CSP research by Coates, LaPointe, Bates, and Macosko groups has been published in Science. This research focuses on compatibilizing the recycling process for two of the most common plastics. Polyethylene (PE) and isotactic polypropylene (iPP) constitute nearly two-thirds of the world’s
plastic. Despite their similar hydrocarbon makeup, the polymers are immiscible with one another. Thus, common grades of PE and iPP do not adhere or blend, creating challenges for recycling these materials.We synthesized PE/iPP multiblock copolymers using an isoselective alkene polymerization initiator. These polymers can weld common grades of commercial PE and iPP together, depending on the molecular weights and architecture of the block copolymers. Interfacial compatibilization of phase-separated PE and iPP with tetrablock copolymers enables morphological control, transforming brittle materials into mechanically tough blends.

 

Read more in the Science publication, "Combining polyethylene and polypropylene: Enhanced performance with PE/iPP multiblock polymers"


 

The Center for Sustainable Polymers is excited to partner with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) through research, education, and outreach efforts. Researchers in the Center for Sustainable Polymers are working to develop new monomers and polymers that expand the uses of corn-based sugars. Additionally, our education and outreach programs are working to reach rural Minnesota through developing new materials for 4-H Cloverbuds (grades K-2), and through our MCGA sponsored teacher workshop in green chemistry.

The CSP and MCGA have partnered to develop the Green & Sustainable Chemistry Workshop for High School Teachers. Learn more about the workshop here


CSP members, join us for Beyond the Classroom on December 14, 2016 from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM CST. Researchers Annabelle Watts and Ingrid Haugan Smidt will be presenting Polymer Properties 101


CSP researchers Charlie Spanjers, Kechun Zhang, Debbie Schneiderman, Paul Dauenhauer, and Marc Hillmyer publish new article on demonstrating a practical process for the synthesis of multifunctional alcohols from five- and six-carbon acids using heterogeneous catalysts in aqueous media. Read the article here.


Application for Summer 2017 is open. The application deadline for the summer 2017 program is February 1st, 2017. Students with completed applications will be notified by early March. For more details, visit the CSP Summer Undergraduate Research page.


Professor Richard C. Thompson will present "Plastic Debris in the Ocean: Are There Solutions to this Global Environmental Problem?". The lecture is free and open to the public; however, registration is required. Check for more details here!


Director Marc Hillmyer was interviewed by NCR Planet Money. Check out the full podcast (and listen for Hillmyer at 17:30)!