Polymer chemist makes non-stick chewing gum

chewing gum on shoe photo Rex.jpgChewing gum, yuk. The Blog is not a fan, especially open-mouthed chewing and filthy streets, but now a UK scientist has discovered a way to use polymer chemistry to make chewing gum that will not stick to pavements and shoes.

 

Prof Terence Cosgrove of Bristol University is listed as one of the Times’ top 15 scientists tackling some of the world’s most pressing problems, in the paper’s glossy science supplement today.

 

He has developed the idea that new polymers — large molecules made up of repeated simple molecules — could be made from existing polymers. He and his team have used this idea to make a polymer which can be added to chewing gum. Cosgrove says: “Chewing gum is oil based, the new polymer makes it capable of absorbing more water.” He adds that this makes the gum degradable and it gives the chewing gum a lower energy surface, meaning that when it sticks to a surface it is easy to pull off. It is, he says, green because it is completely solvent free.”

 

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