A Green and Powerful Method toward Well-defined Polycarbonates and Polycarbonate-Based Block Copolymers from CO2 and Epoxides

  • Yahya Alzahrany

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The use of waste gas such as carbon dioxide (CO2) to prepare useful and valuable polymers benefits both the economy and the environment. Various strategies have been developed to reduce CO2 emission as well as to transfer CO2 into high-value products. CO2/epoxide copolymerization is one of the most promising methods of not only reducing the CO2 emission from the atmosphere but also producing biodegradable CO2-based materials that are CO2 as source-abundant, renewable, cheap, non-flammable and non-toxic. However, the activation of CO2 is one of several problems associated with the polymerization of CO2 due to its stability as a thermodynamic end product. Herein, my dissertation describes the effectiveness of new lithium/phosphazene complexes to generate highly active species for CO2/epoxide copolymerization and to capture/activate CO2 molecules for the nucleophilic attack of the active species. Well-defined polycarbonates and polycarbonate-based block copolymers are produced that have control of molecular weights, unimodal distributions and narrow molecular weight distributions (Chapter 3 and 4). Besides, these complexes provide access to prepare CO2-based triblock copolymers that are powerful candidates to serve as the next generation of thermoplastic elastomers (Chapter 4). Additionally, these complexes are applied for the anionic polymerization of petrochemical-based sources such as styrene and dienes producing polymers in faster rate of polymerization with control of molecular characteristics (Chapter 2). A general introduction of polymers and their classification based on composition, chemical structure, mechanical properties, degradability, source, applications, and preparative methods, is covered in Chapter 1
Date of AwardMay 2020
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorNikos Hadjichristidis (Supervisor)


  • Polycarbonates
  • Block Copolymers
  • Copolymerization
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Lithium
  • Phosphazene

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