ACS GCI Launches the Natural Polymers Consortium

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By Isamir Martinez, Sr. Portfolio Manager, Scientific Alliances and Business Engagement, ACS GCI, and Christiana Briddell, Portfolio Manager, Sustainability & Green Chemistry Communication, ACS GCI

The ACS Green Chemistry Institute, in partnership with industry leaders Colgate-Palmolive and Dow, is launching the Natural Polymers Consortium (NPC) to explore the utilization of natural polymers to catalyze greener chemistries.

By Isamir Martinez, Sr. Portfolio Manager, Scientific Alliances and Business Engagement, ACS GCI, and Christiana Briddell, Portfolio Manager, Sustainability & Green Chemistry Communication, ACS GCI

The ACS Green Chemistry Institute, in partnership with industry leaders Colgate-Palmolive and Dow, is launching the Natural Polymers Consortium (NPC) to explore the utilization of natural polymers to catalyze greener chemistries. Companies working in this area, as well as academics and NGOs interested in developing relevant chemistries, are invited to join.

Natural polymers are materials such as honey, cellulose, and starch that widely occur in nature or are extracted from plants. The mission of the ACS GCI NPC is to explore the development and application of natural polymers in the areas of packaging materials and formulation ingredients (e.g., in personal care, home care, and agricultural applications). To achieve this mission, the group shall aim to:

  • Facilitate pre-competitive communication, discussion, and collaboration between scientists across industries, academia, and NGOs to foster new ideas related to natural polymers as alternatives to plastics and formulation ingredients.  
  • Promote research in potentially transformative technologies for the synthesis of natural polymers, such as bioengineering, synthetic biology, fermentation, and modification, and explore their decomposition mechanisms, such as enzymatic degradation, among others.
  • Develop tools to evaluate the biodegradation, environmental impact, and life cycle analysis of novel natural polymer materials quantitatively and qualitatively vs. incumbents.

The NPC will have its first virtual meeting in May and will be holding a symposium and discussion at the ACS Fall 2023 meeting in San Francisco, “A Back to the Future Approach to Deal with Plastics Issues”. Please contact gciroundtables@acs.org if you would like to get involved or find out more.