Chemists work up new formulas for greener plastic

Plastics are a miracle of modern science and are now fundamental to our everyday lives. Of course, they are also a constant reminder of our throw-away society. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), chemist Marc Hillmyer, of the University of Minnesota, and a team at the Center for Sustainable Polymers (CSP) are dedicating their research to transforming the way plastics, or “polymers,” are made and unmade. The Center’s vision is to design, demonstrate and develop economically competitive and environmentally friendly polymers that may even outperform their traditional counterparts. To accomplish their goal, these chemists are working on new strategies using renewable feedstock chemicals, such as sugars, plant oils, and other naturally sourced starting materials. The CSP is one of the NSF-funded Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI), which are focused on major, long-term fundamental chemical research challenges. CCIs are producing transformative research that is leading to innovation and attracting broad scientific and public interest.

Provided by the National Science Foundation

Runtime: 3:08

More Science Nation videos

Get Science360's video of the day in your mailbox each weekday.

Sign up now!