Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Valorization of Abundantly Bioavailable Solvents into Amphiphilic Homopolymeric Surfactants for Specialty Applications

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The project aims to develop novo strategies (from feedstock to applications) to access polymeric surfactants based on renewable resources for use in specialty applications, where there is strong interest on new sustainable surfactants as dispersants of poorly water-soluble small molecules. The general objective of the project is the valorization of abundantly bioavailable solvents into selfassociative amphiphilic homopolymers (SAHPs). Specifically, the project aims to offer simplified and cost effective routes, compared to traditional amphiphilic block copolymers, by targeting homopolymers from facially amphiphilic monomers or innovative approaches based on water-soluble monomers. Beyond the use of biobased feedstocks, more specific application-based needs will be addressed, with emphasis on sustained or on-demand degradability, pH stability, low toxicity and biocompatibility.

Scientific and technological as well as socio economic impacts are envisioned from the two-fold objectives of the project: gain fundamental understanding on design of homopolymeric surfactants and new insights into their complex association mechanisms, and produce SAHPs with a myriad of potential applications. They can be used as stabilizers in emulsion polymerization or as responsive vectors to encapsulate hydrophobic active compounds (e.g., pesticides, flavours, fragrances, and anticancer drug molecules) of interest in green agriculture or drug delivery markets. We expect to generate knowledge and technology with application in strategic industrial sectors improving the competitiveness of the industry and transforming it from a resource-intensive to a knowledge-intensive industry. The project pursues to reduce the dependence of economy on oil prices by substituting fossil-based chemicals by materials based on renewables and to create new job opportunities in the materials/polymers sectors, while contributing to the formation of qualified personal in polymer science.


  • Amphiphilic homopolymers
    Sustainable polymers
    Drug delivery
    Green solvents
    Controlled polymerization

Project financed by: