The global polymer market is anticipated to become worth USD 693 billion by 2025. One of the major factors fueling the growth of this sector is the surge in demand for the compounds from electronics and electrical sector. Polyphenylene sulphide, nylon 46, polythiazide are some of the major forms of polymers that are used in the electrical and electronics industry as these not only withstand high temperature but also withstand surface mount technology, making them the most preferable in the markets. The compounds help in reducing the weight of automobile to a substantial amount. This in turn, leads to better fuel efficiency of the automobile.
Other factors contributing to the growth of this industry include the rise in demand for polymers from diverse end-user industries such as healthcare, construction, packaging, among others for the manufacturing of adhesives elastomers, and surface coatings. These industries use polymers as a substitute to glass, paper and metals, owing to its low weight and cost. This is further anticipated to bolster the growth of the polymers market, globally, in the coming years. Also, population in developing economies is increasing significantly, which is leading to increase in demand for essential products as well as consumers purchasing power, which in turn, is anticipated to strengthen the Global Polymers market.
Plastic recycling is also another factor that drives the growth of the polymer market. This is because recycling reduces plastics in waste stream and the plastic recycling process involves the recovery of plastics by reprocessing them into useful products.
Applicatons in the manufacturing of a gamut of products
Polymer products primarily the plastics are used in the manufacturing of a gamut of products from water bottles to medical applications. Therefore, billions of pounds of these materials are being produced every year by manufacturing companies. Free Radical Polymerization, the process through which select polymers are produced, includes the sub process where a monometer solution is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. The high energy of UV light enables the reaction, resulting in the polymer production.
Major advantages of this process include fewer chemical waste byproducts and less environmental impact. However, it also has its own drawbacks such as the high energy UV light in producing these polymers would also degrade plastics.
In one of the researches conducted by Felix N. Castellano, Goodnight Innovation Distinguished Chair of Chemistry at NC State, it was discovered that it is possible to combine lower energy molecules’ excited states to achieve more potent excited states. In a new contribution, Castellano along with his team applied a process called homomolecular triplet-triplet annihilation-to polymer production, implementing lower energy yellow or green light to produce polymer gels.
Castellano and team conducted spectroscopic analysis of the solution by establishing the existence of the S2 excited state in the presence of yellow and green light. “We used ZnTPP because it allows you to see light emission from two different excited states and we could differentiate between lower energy S1 and higher energy S2 states,” said Castellano. “We know that polymer formation is a direct result of the S2 excited state, but we can also show that is what is happening spectroscopically,” he added.