Synthesis and Study of Sustainable Polymers in the Organic Chemistry Laboratory: An Inquiry-Based Experiment Exploring the Effects of Size and Composition on the Properties of Renewable Block Polymers

Grant W. Fahnhorst, Zachary J. Swingen, Deborah K. Schneiderman, Christa S. Blaquiere, Michael T. Wentzel, Jane E. Wissinger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

A discovery-based experiment highlighting the use of renewable starting materials to synthesize triblock polymers was developed and successfully implemented in our introductory organic chemistry laboratory course. Green chemistry principles applied in this experiment include the use of renewable feedstocks, minimal/green solvents, and design for degradation. Groups of students are tasked with synthesizing polymers of different compositions so that comparisons can be made of their mechanical properties. 1H NMR analysis allows estimation of the overall molecular weight and quantification of the polymer blocks incorporated. The experiment serves to share modern state-of-the art technologies in sustainable polymers and addresses the ACS Committee on Professional Trainings accreditation guidelines to include synthetic polymers and macromolecules in the chemistry curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGreen Chemistry Experiments in Undergraduate Laboratories
EditorsJodie T. Fahey, Lynn E. Maelia
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
Pages123-147
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9780841231771
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Publication series

NameACS Symposium Series
Volume1233
ISSN (Print)0097-6156
ISSN (Electronic)1947-5918

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Fahnhorst, G. W., Swingen, Z. J., Schneiderman, D. K., Blaquiere, C. S., Wentzel, M. T., & Wissinger, J. E. (2016). Synthesis and Study of Sustainable Polymers in the Organic Chemistry Laboratory: An Inquiry-Based Experiment Exploring the Effects of Size and Composition on the Properties of Renewable Block Polymers. In J. T. Fahey, & L. E. Maelia (Eds.), Green Chemistry Experiments in Undergraduate Laboratories (pp. 123-147). (ACS Symposium Series; Vol. 1233). American Chemical Society. https://doi.org/10.1021/bk-2016-1233.ch008