UGA New Materials Institute to conduct 6 projects for industry consortium
The University of Georgia New Materials Institute will pursue six sustainably-related research projects in 2022 that were recently funded by the Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites’ Industry Advisory Board.
The project selections were finalized at the annual Fall Meeting of the IAB. The meeting was held virtually and attended by representatives from all four university research sites for CB2: UGA, Washington State University, Iowa State University, and North Dakota State University. CB2 is an Industry-University Cooperative Research Center funded by the National Science Foundation. The research cooperative was recently granted a Phase II award.
The IAB voted to renew funding for “Investigation of the Marine Degradability of Polymers of Interest to IAB Members,” which launched in early 2021 under the direction of Dr. Branson W. Ritchie, a Distinguished Research Professor who leads the UGA Infectious Diseases Laboratory and heads Technology Development and Implementation for the New Materials Institute.
Three new projects funded for 2022 will be conducted solely by the New Materials Institute faculty and students, along with mentors from industry; two others will be conducted jointly by UGA and Iowa State University, with the project mentors from industry. “Soybean-Derived Thermoplastics for Improved Bioplastic Performance” will be co-led by Jason Locklin, director of the New Materials Institute and CB2 site director for UGA, and Eric Cochran, CB2 site director for ISU.
The 2022 projects are:
Bio-Based Coatings for High-Performance Flexible Paper Packaging Application
- Suraj Sharma, Professor of Textiles, Merchandising and Interiors, College of Family and Consumer Sciences
- Sudhagar Mani, Professor of Chemical, Materials, and Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering
Exploration of the Enzymatic Hydrolysis of PLA-based Polyester Blends Using Embedded Enzymes
- Evan White, Director of the Bioseniatic℠ Laboratory at the New Materials Institute
- Breeanna Urbanowicz, Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center
- Jason Locklin, Director of the New Materials Institute; CB2 Site Director for UGA; Distinguished Faculty Scholar in the College of Engineering; and, Professor in the Department of Chemistry within the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences
Hemicellulose Derived Commodity Chemicals for Packaging and Coating Applications
- Maria Pena, Associate Research Scientist, Complex Carbohydrate Research Center
- Sergiy Minko, the Georgia Power Professor of Fiber and Polymer Science, Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Interiors, within the College of Family and Consumer Sciences; and, Professor in the Department of Chemistry within the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences
Soybean-Derived Thermoplastics for Improved Bioplastic Performance
- Locklin, UGA
- Eric Cochran, CB2 Site Director for ISU, and the Mary Jane Skogen Hagenson & Randy L. Hagenson Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering within the College of Engineering
Little-Known Nylon: Nylon 59 Properties
- Locklin, UGA
- Cochran, ISU
CB2’s IAB meets twice a year to review progress on current projects and, to pitch and assess proposals. IAB members share in the research and development costs, as well as in the intellectual property; additionally, IAB representatives work directly with university faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students to develop technologies that can be rapidly adopted by industry. The program provides hands-on training while ensuring funds and projects are focused on rapid development of tools needed by industry to further sustainability goals. Students and university researchers work under the mentorship of industry scientists and product developers from some of the biggest names in industry: Amazon, Ford, John Deere, ADM, Kimberly-Clark, 3M, BASF, Boehringer Ingelheim, Sherwin-Williams, AkzoNobel,Danimer Scientific, NatureWorks, RWDC Industries, and Avery Dennison, among others. Projects are funded through IAB membership fees, with Center/Site support funding provided by the NSF.
For more information about CB2, visit https://cb2center.org/home.