you have reached the Web site of the Laboratory of Stereoselective Polymerizations (LSP) at the Department of Chemical Sciences (DSC), Federico II University of Naples (Italy).
LSP is a global competence center for fundamental and applied studies on olefin polymerization chemistry and catalysis.
Before you scroll this introductory page until the end and look for the author’s name, let me introduce myself: I am Vincenzo Busico, head of LSP since the late 1990s. When, over twenty years ago, I wrote the Intro for the first release of this site [click here to see it], I was proud to trace the origin of our lab to the prestigious research schools of Giulio Natta (1963 Nobel Prize laureate in Chemistry, and inventor of stereoselective olefin polymerization in 1954) and Paolo Corradini (the crystallographer who elucidated the structures of isotactic polypropylene and practically all other stereoregular polyolefins). I realize that many things can change in twenty years. Yet, anticipating the fall of “plastics” from Stockholm’s glory (Figure 1) to universal blame (Figures 2 and 3) was far beyond my guessing ability.
That’s why I felt that the renewed LSP site should have an unconventional Introduction: in a time when many invoke a “plastics-free” society and those producing, studying or defending plastics are severely criticized I wish to explain why, at odds with conventional wisdom, my collaborators and I firmly believe that investing public and private resources in polyolefin R&D is justified more now than ever.
In short, we believe that, in a circular economy, polymers are part of the solution to both the looming climate and the waste/resources crisis that humanity is facing. Complex problems rarely have simple solutions. Conventional polymers are not easy to replace; for example, producing novel biodegradable alternatives is highly energy intensive, so should we prioritize waste management or rather global warming? This is only one typical dilemma out of the numerous ones that challenge all those with a mandate or simply an interest in the plastics industry. If you have some time to dedicate to the question, you can continue reading (Section 1.2).
In all cases, whether you are a student, a scientist, a technologist, or an occasional traveler of the Web, I hope you enjoy browsing through this website. Should you have professional reasons to visit us, get in touch: we will do our best to welcome you!
Vincenzo Busico, Professor, LSP Head