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November 05th, 2018 – A natural molecule to replace styrene, a toxic organic compound used in the naval, automobile, packaging and clothing industries, was developed by a research team from the University of Coimbra

For the first time, a molecule almost 100 % natural capable to substitute styrene, which is an oil derivative commonly used to produce several materials in a variety of industries (e.g. naval, automobile, packaging and clothing), was developed, refers the University of Coimbra in a statement. The research team from the Polysyc group, in addition to a former PhD student of the group, synthesized this new sobrerol-based molecule to be a viable alternative to the use of styrene, considered a toxic compound, harmful to the environment and humans, besides to be classified as a carcinogenic agent.

Sobrerol is a compound of cyclic structure that can be obtained through the transformation of materials obtained from pine resin. Furthermore, the preparation of the sobrerol involves the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) as raw material, an important aspect from the environmental point of view.

The research is the cover theme of the scientific journal Green Chemistry, one of the most prestigious scientific journal of the green chemistry field.

 

October 09th, 2018 – Researchers from Coimbra discover a new generation of polymers to eliminate bacteria in hospital environment

The researching team, counting on the participation of Dr. Patrícia Mendonça, Dr. Jorge Coelho, Madson Santos (PhD student) and Dr. Arménio Serra from the group Polysyc, from the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC) developed a new generation of polymers with antimicrobial properties, which constitutes a “further step” for the prevention of hospital infections.
The scope of the discovery is the invention of an antibacterial coating (like a varnish) for application in health units, and the research group estimate that the new antimicrobial coating can enter in the commercial market in two or three years.

 

December 06th, 2017 – Deep eutectic solvents (DES): Excellent green solvents for rapid SARA ATRP of biorelevant hydrophilic monomers at ambient temperature

Recently, our group reported an eco-friendly type III deep eutectic solvent (reline: choline/urea mixture) for the polymerization of different bio-relevant hydrophilic monomers (HEA: 2-hydroxyethyl acrylate, HEMA: 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate and AMPTMA: (3-acrylamidopropyl)trimethylammonium chloride) through supplemental activator and reducing agent atom transfer radical polymerization (SARA ATRP) near to room temperature (30 ºC). The polymerization of PHEA was mediated by a safe and inexpensive SARA agent (sodium dithionite: Na2S2O4), and the results showed that a slow and continuous feeding of the SARA agent to the reaction mixture allows a PHEA-Br with higher chain-end functionality and lower dispersity (Ð ≈ 1.1) in comparison to the obtained without Na2S2O4 feeding.

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