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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Polymers from Renewable Feedstocks for Sustainability

Location

Material Measurement Laboratory, Materials Science and Engineering Division

RO# Location
50.64.21.B7259 Gaithersburg, MD

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.

Advisers

Name E-mail Phone
Beers, Kathryn L. kathryn.beers@nist.gov 301.975.2113

Description

The goal of meeting the needs of those living today without compromising the needs of future generations is at the forefront of current public policy. The reliance on petroleum as a polymer feedstock cannot continue indefinitely. Furthermore, there are great environmental benefits to be had in the removal of toxic heavy metal catalysts from the polymerization process. It is for these reasons that enzymatically-catalyzed polymers made from renewable feedstocks have gained prominence in recent years. Our goal is to develop quantitative measurement methods to characterize these emerging polymers. Current work focuses on mass spectrometry and chromatography to measure molecular mass distribution and end group composition to determine relative rates of chain initiation, transfer, and termination. We measure copolymer distribution in order of the range and specificity of a given catalyst and set of reaction conditions. We seek innovative proposals in the area of materials characterization including (but not limited to) chemical composition, surface and thin-film behavior, and general physical properties such as mechanical or electrical quantities. Proposals that promote rapid commercialization of sustainable polymers are particularly encouraged.

 

Keywords:
Green chemistry; Materials characterization; Renewable; Sustainability;

Eligibility

Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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