Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry

Topic details

Topic Biodegradable polyurethane foams from renewable raw-materials: synthesis and characterization
Supervisor Hynek Beneš, PhD.
Department Polymer Processing
Description In recent years, considerable attention has been paid on polyurethanes (PU) containing structural biodegradable units of polyester-polyols. The polyols are thus often tailored with respect to a final application, while commercially available aliphatic polyisocyanates are often used as the second raw material for polyaddition. This approach enables to prepare biodegradable linear and thermoplastic PU (TPU), whereas the more-demanded crosslinked PU, biodegradable PU foams, cannot be produced due to low reactivity of aliphatic isocynates and/or ecotoxicity of their aromatic analogs. The PhD topic is focused on alternative synthetic routes of PU foams utilizing renewable (bio-based) raw-materials for synthesis of polyols and isocyanates and non-isocyanate preparation of PU foams (NIPU). The experimental work will include a synthesis of new types of monomers and PU foams and their structure-related characterization. Degradation behavior of the produced PU foams will be studied with respect to foams’ composition and structure. Biodegradation tests will be carried out in cooperation with Institute for Environmental Studies, Charles University in Prague. As part of the doctoral project, a student's several-month internship at foreign collaborating workplaces is expected: Gdansk University of Technology (Poland) and the Institute of Polymers Composites and Biomaterials, National Research Council, Portici (Italy). The PhD theme is suitable for graduates in Chemistry, especially macromolecular and organic chemistry.
The candidates should have good communication skills in English (both in speaking and writing), should be able to work both in a team and independently. Active participation on foreign internships, trainings and scientific conferences is expected.