Robert Di Lorenzo

Hometown: Toronto, ON

Investigating new classes of fluoropolymer based Environmental Contaminants
  • MSc 2010-Present
  • HBSc Chemistry - 2010 (University of Toronto)

Fluoropolymers are used in a remarkably large number of industrial applications. Some of these include bulk and thin-film lubricants, greases, heat transfer fluids, cosmetics, and EPA-approved food contact paper coatings. The application is dependent upon the minor variation in polymer structure as well as the functionalization of the polymer termini. Although their minor properties may change with structure, fluoropolymers have one major property, and selling point, in common: their chemical inertness. Although this quality is most desired industrially, it is also the property of most environmental concern. With the ubiquitous nature of the fluorinated polymer industry, there is a need to assess these characteristics.

The goals are of the research to develop a method for trace analysis of various fluoropolymers commercial products and environmental samples (e.g. water, soil, sewage sludge, etc.), to determine their presence in suspected product and disposal sources, and to assess preliminary environmental degradation products of the dissolved polymers.

In his free time, Rob enjoys playing hockey, cooking and blooging for the Republic of Bacon.