Sir William C. Macdonald Chair in Chemistry
Director Quebec Centre for Advanced Materials (QCAM/CQMF)
- Materials Chemistry
- Environmental chemistry
- Green chemistry
The main research focus is on the fundamentals of cellulose chemistry and its applications to novel materials. Examples of novel materials being studies are: hairy nanocellulose, cellulose hydro-, aero- and emulgels, water soluble cellulose derivatives, such as dialdehyde cellulose, dicarboxylated cellulose, dialcohol cellulose and aminated cellulose, cellulose-based textile filaments, cellulose-based films, which can be made in a variety of objects, such as biodegradable drinking straws, bags, bottles, etc. All these materials are made by various chemical modifications of cellulose. Other areas of interest are cellulose hybrid materials, such as e.g. silica/cellulose hybrids, which can be used for drug deliver, dye absorption, catalysis, etc. Presently this research is being extended to the chemistry of polyphenolics, such as lignin, asphaltenes and tannic acid. Lignocellulosic materials require chemical modification of lignin, and chemical modification of asphaltenes, which have aromatic structures similar to lignin, with allows making valuable materials from them, such as carbon fibers, adhesives and resins. Tannic acid has a high affinity to several proteins involved in the Covid-19 virus and the interaction of tannic acid with these proteins is being investigated, as well as the interaction with proteins involved in Alzheimer disease.