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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Lafayette College
  • Lindsay Soh
  • (610) 330-5447
  • Melissa B Gordon
Award Date:11/15/2019
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 161,998
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 161,998
  • FY 2020=$161,998
Start Date:01/01/2020
End Date:12/31/2022
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:RUI: Collaborative Research: Greener Processes for the Sustainable Development of Bio-Based Polyesters
Federal Award ID Number:1934368
DUNS ID:041364522
Parent DUNS ID:041364522
Program:EnvS-Environmtl Sustainability
Program Officer:
  • Bruce Hamilton
  • (703) 292-7066

Awardee Location

Street:High Street
Awardee Cong. District:07

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Lafayette College
Street:730 High Street
Cong. District:07

Abstract at Time of Award

The development of green separation and processing strategies to produce bio-based polymers is beneficial to ensure environmentally sustainable materials for future generations. Current monomer production methods typically use petroleum and require hazardous processes. Biomass offers diverse alternate starting materials for polymer chemistries. However, current strategies for isolating monomers from biomass and their polymerizations are limited and often not sustainable in practice. The development of sustainable bio-based polymers requires a holistic approach that tackles key sustainability issues associated with monomer sourcing and extraction, polymer creation, and end-point feedback. This project seeks to utilize residual biomass sources, green extraction techniques, and appropriate polymer syntheses to incorporate structurally rigid monomers (i.e. pentacyclic triterpenols) into the backbones of polymer networks and elucidate the fundamental relationship between processing, structure, and properties of these polyesters derived from natural feedstocks. Key considerations include the methodologies by which feedstocks are sourced, separated, and subsequently translated into useful polymers. Ultimately, knowledge gained will provide impetus for and education in the transformation of bio-refined products into macromolecules that meet the diverse needs of society. Specific objectives target a fundamental understanding of the processing-structure-property relationships of bio-based polymers derived from green separation techniques. The project will holistically consider the choice of feedstock, extraction technique, polymer synthesis, and polymer degradation to ultimately produce environmentally sustainable processes and products. An iterative approach will use sustainability metrics throughout and will evaluate these metrics to determine the overall process viability from economic and environmental perspectives. By integrating process sustainability metrics into traditional processing-structure-property relationship methodology used in polymer development, the approach will shift the conventional polymer design paradigm to comprehensively address both polymer function and sustainability via the following interconnected, concurrent aims: (I) Leverage green solvent extraction to produce enriched monomer fractions from renewable feedstocks, (II) Sustainably develop polyester thermoplastics and thermosets derived from fractionated biomass, and (III) Evaluate process technoeconomic and life cycle sustainability. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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