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Low cost and renewable sulfur-polymers by inverse vulcanisation, and their potential for mercury capture

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>21/06/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number23
Volume5
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)11682-11692
<mark>State</mark>Published
Early online date28/11/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Sulfur is not only a highly abundant element, but also produced as a by-product of the petrochemicals industry. However, it has not been conventionally used to produce functional materials because polymeric sulfur is unstable, and decomposes back to its monomer. Recently, inverse vulcanisation has been used to produce stable polymeric materials with elemental sulfur as a major component. Here we report a series of alternative crosslinkers for inverse vulcanisation that are either low-cost industrial byproducts, or bio-derived renewables. These are shown to produce stable polymers with superior properties to previously reported materials. When made porous by the action of supercritical carbon dioxide or salt templating, these high sulfur polymers show excellent potential for mercury capture and filtration.

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© Royal Society of Chemistry 2017