Boron-Based Furan Polymers

Mar 3, 2022 | ADVANCED ENERGY, Clean Fuels, Efficient Power Sources

Boron-Based Furan Polymers offer Sustainable Energy Source

Boron-based Furan polymers are a new class of renewable energy materials based on boron. These materials can provide portable energy sources, serve as catalysts in chemical reactions, and can potentially be used as electrode materials in lithium-ion batteries. They are also highly biodegradable.

Boron-based Furan Polymers

Boron-based Furan Polymers

Boron-based Furan Polymers offer More Benefits

Boron is mineral research at the cutting edge of science for its advanced and green energy potential. In combination with furan polymers, researchers believe that boron can offer a sustainable solution for light and energy on the go.

Most furan-based products degrade quickly under ambient circumstances, exposing the environment to hazardous compounds. On the other hand, Boron-linked furans can resist temperatures of up to 300 °C and stay unaffected by light for months.

Boron-based furan polymers have a greater luminosity and are more soluble than traditional thiophene-based compounds, making synthesis easier and lowering solvent use. Because furans are biodegradable, these materials are likely to be reused.

Potential Applications

Boron-based Furan polymers open up a variety of potential uses beyond organic electronics. They can help provide a sustainable and clean source of electricity.

Solar cells are unique, organic materials using crystalline silicon that harnesses the sun’s energy. Presently, these materials are produced with crude oil or natural gas, which is not sustainable. However, scientists are now seeking alternatives.

Portable energy sources are favoured by outdoor enthusiasts and others who carry small solar plants, usually made of tin and other non-sustainable materials. These sources enable people to charge their smartphones while on the move.

Flexible, thin, and lightweight solar panels can be mounted to curved surfaces, such as roofs on mobile homes or attached to outdoor clothing.

As the material’s characteristics develop, boron-based furan polymers can be utilized to produce sensors that detect hazardous amines in the air.

Furthermore, they can be employed as catalysts and electrode materials in lithium-ion batteries. This discovery will pave the way for a more sustainable energy source and aid in providing green energy to a worldwide population.

Research into Boron-based Furan Polymers

Boron-Based Furan Polymers are already used in organic electronics. According to Wikipedia, Organic Electronics is “a field of materials science concerning the design, synthesis, characterization, and application of organic molecules or polymers that show desirable electronic properties such as conductivity.”

It’s a promising field, but there are challenges in use. For instance, the polymers decompose quickly in the presence of light and oxygen.

However, a doctoral student from the University of Wurzburg is now working on synthesizing and characterizing these materials using more environmentally friendly methods. This will lead to more efficient processes lowering energy requirements and reducing reagents.

The research on boron-based furan polymers is ongoing. Professor Holger Helten and his team of scientists at the Wurzburg Faculty of Chemistry developed a sustainable organic electronics source manufactured in the home.

Besides organic electronics, these polymers have various applications as renewable energy sources. Among other uses, they can be used for solar cells, light-emitting diodes, displays, or electronic circuits.

Environmentally Friendly Synthesis Methods

Helten hopes to improve these synthesis processes further to make them more sustainable.

He explains why these strategies are good for the environment:

“The polymerization of boron and furans, as well as the production of purely organic polymers, generally leads to high undesirable waste. Often these are organic tin compounds. There is no requirement for metals with our approach, and no harmful waste is generated.”

With all of these advantages in terms of sustainability, it’s no surprise that the German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, DBU) is funding Maximilian Fest’s dissertation project. DBU offers him a monthly scholarship of 1,500 euros for the next 2.5 years and material resources.

Beyond organic electronics, the addition of boron to furan-based polymers opens up many new possibilities. Professor Helten says, “We can use it, for example, to build sensors that detect hazardous amines.”

Boron’s New Green, Clean Sources of Energy

The use of boron-based polymers to produce liquid fuels is also an option. This material contains hydroxyl groups and various furan rings. The resulting compounds can be used for organic electronics and solar cells.

Boron-based furan polymers are also used to make light-emitting diodes and displays. This material will eventually be a green, clean source of energy.

They can also be used in the manufacturing of flexible electrochromic devices.

Finally, Boron-based fibres are another excellent renewable and sustainable energy source. They do not contribute to global warming or air pollution.

A reduction in temperature is another way to create renewable materials. Natural fibres are renewable and have a lower processing temperature than synthetic materials. Further, they are environmentally friendly.

The thermo-composition of natural fibres is complex, and they have high water absorption. The researchers studied ten natural fibres and discovered that the material is resistant to thermal shock and compatible with hydrophobic polymer matrices.


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