Justin Chalker

Adelaide, South Australia

Synthetic chemistry researcher

Justin leads a Flinders University laboratory team that has developed an innovative polymer made from petroleum waste products capable of absorbing mercury and cleaning up oil spills. Because the polymer’s building blocks – sulfur and used cooking oil – are very inexpensive, this technology has great potential to control toxic pollution worldwide, protecting the environment and human health. Justin and his team will now work on a  process to mass manufacture the material, field test it and gain a better understanding of how it degrades. Meeting these milestones will pave the way to commercialising this game-changing polymer.