Symposium SM07—Functional (Bio)polymers in Energy and Environment Applications
The development of inexpensive, benign and efficient sustainable materials, which can replace our dependence on the fossil reserves, is imperative. This approach can take many forms, either by improving the lifetime of a material, making it lighter, easier and more economical to transport, or by creating novel materials that allow for new functions. In this context, the exploitation of functional materials based on renewable and sustainable (bio)polymers and bioplastics (i.e., biological polymers and bio-derived synthetic polymers) such as poly(ionic liquid)s (PILs), polysaccharides, fibrous proteins, etc represents an approach that can satisfy these stringent requirements.
Improved chemical and characterization methods have promoted the growing interest in (biopolymers as it enabled tuning their surface properties and the observation of their intricate nanostructures. Functional biopolymers and bioplastics have found their way in applications in catalysis, sensing, energy storage and energy generation. However, the understanding of the coupling of the micro-, meso-, and macroscopic-length scales is far from being understood, particularly in combination with inorganic nanomaterials. This symposium will cover the range of applications of biopolymers and bioplastics in energy and environment applications.
The topics of the symposium include interdisciplinary areas merging chemistry, biology, polymer science and materials science. The invited abstracts will provide the required bridges to connect these areas with an emphasis on their characterization methods and applications. These, in turn, will help to initiate discussions towards the implementation of the various functional (bio)polymers in different areas and the cross-fertilization of the characterization methods that are used.