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Catalyst to Polymer: Synergistic Materials Design


Senior Lecturer: CHAMMINGKWAN, Patchanee

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[Research areas]
Catalysis, Polymer chemistry
[Keywords]
Polyolefin, Heterogeneous catalyst, Structure-performance, Model catalyst, High-throughput

Skills and background we are looking for in prospective students

We are looking for students who have chemistry-oriented skills. Basic knowledge in polymer chemistry and catalysis is preferred, but not imperative.

What you can expect to learn in this laboratory

You will gain knowledge in catalysis and polymer chemistry from both of the academic and industrial perspectives. You will be guided to develop your own protocol (or research direction) that is an essential stage in pursuing your own interest in the future.

【Job category of graduates】 Chemical industry

Research outline

Plastics play a major role in enriching the quality of life. Nonetheless, detriments caused by the leakage to the environment can no longer be ignored. Especially polyolefin, their abundance requires urgent actions towards new plastic economy. Though polyolefin has high life-cycle eco-efficiency, e.g., low energy consumption in production process, recyclability for second-life use, etc., more than half of the consumption are disposed to landfill, especially packaging with inseparable layers of multiple materials. Likewise, the development of highly functional polyolefin materials with desired properties becomes essential to meet the requirement by a single-type plastic as well as in today’s advanced applications. Our lab aims to develop methodology and knowledge to access a new class of polyolefin with tailored properties by synergistic catalyst and polymer design.

Unveiling Catalyst-Polymer Relationship

Advance in heterogeneous catalyst is a result of uncovered structure-performance relationship that brings understanding toward the rational design of more selective materials. In a long history of polyolefin, direct correlations such as the relationship between the catalyst structure and its performance have been extensively studied. However, a little knowledge has been established for answering the most important question, “How to design a catalyst for producing polymer with desired properties”. In our lab, we develop a methodology based on: i) model catalysts having well-defined structural features, and ii) practical catalysts with the aids high-throughput experimentations and data mining approaches, to unveil the structure-performance relationship (SPR) as a first step for rational catalyst design.

Contribution to Society

Innovation in materials science has a great potential in improving our daily life and its sustainability, while such innovation will be impactful to the society only when commercialization is realized. In our lab, we work closely with an industry to develop polymer with enhanced properties by synergistic materials design from nano- to microscale.


Fig. 1 Methodology in establishing SPR

 

Key publications

  1. P. Chammingkwan, Y. Bando, M. Terano, T. Taniike, Nano-dispersed Ziegler-Natta catalysts for 1 μm-sized ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene particles, Front. Chem., 6, Article 524 (2018).
  2. A. Matta, P. Chammingkwan, B. K. Singh, M. Terano, T. Kaneko, T. Taniike, Truxillic and truxinic acid-based, bio-derived diesters as potent internal donor in Ziegler-Natta catalyst for propylene polymerization, Appl. Catal. A: Gen., 554, 80 (2018).
  3. P. Chammingkwan, M. Terano, T. Taniike, High-throughput synthesis of support materials for olefin polymerization catalyst, ACS Comb. Sci., 19, 331 (2017).

Equipment

Parallel stirred reactor system, spray drying machine, light-scattering, Raman, X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, several high pressure polymerization units

Teaching policy

Students will be supported individually at an early stage of research works. After becoming familiar, students are required to pay attention to maximize work efficiency during the core-time to establish their own work-life balance. Regular meeting is held every 2-3 weeks to report the research progress. Presentations in domestic and international conferences are encouraged.

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